Are you looking for an exciting way to spend your weekend in Orlando, Florida? Then attending a dragon boat race is definitely something you should consider. Dragon boat racing is an international showcase of paddlers eager to experience the thrill of this ancient sport. The boat is a 40-foot canoe-like vessel with capacity for 20 rowers, often adorned with a dragon's head and tail. This is a reflection of the Chinese belief that dragons symbolize protection against evil and disease. Dragon boats are native to the Pearl River Delta region, in Guangdong province, in southern China.
They were traditionally made of teak, but other types of wood are used in other parts of China. The sport has its roots in an ancient ritual popular among contending villagers, dating back 2000 years across South China, and even beyond the original games of Olympia, in ancient Greece. The paddle used in modern dragon boat racing is standardized and has a fixed blade surface with a distinctive shape derived from rowing forms characteristic of those used by the inhabitants of the Pearl River Delta region. The International Canoeing Federation (ICF) also has a dragon boat program for member canoeing federations interested in dragon boats. In China, traditional dragon boat races coincide with the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month (from the end of May to June). In Orlando, Florida, however, dragon boat races are held throughout the year.
You can enjoy the energy and excitement of the festival event environment and be part of a vibrant community of dragon boat enthusiasts. When the rudder moves the steering paddle, the stern of the boat moves to the left or right, making it turn. At modern dragon boat festivals, a representative can be invited to step forward to paint the eyes on a dragon ship's head with a brush dipped in red paint. The International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) organizes modern dragon boat races internationally. Upon entering the park for a dragon boat race event, tell the front door that you are attending and follow the signs to the festival car park. As a volunteer at one of these events you'll have an opportunity to be part of all the thrilling action that comes with dragon boat racing. Unlike dragons from European mythology which are often considered evil and demonic, Asian dragons are considered healthy and benevolent and therefore worthy of veneration.
This is usually done to turn the boat around during practice or to ensure that it is aligned in a straight line and points directly towards a racecourse. As with rocker canoes or Polynesian va'a, dragon boat races have a rich heritage of ancient ceremonial, ritual and religious traditions so that modern competitive aspect is only a small part of this complex culture. The direction of the dragon boat during a race is set by its director but for docking and other maneuvers individual rowers can be asked to paddle (while others stop or rest) according to orders from either drummer or helmsman.
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