Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat racing on the Willamette River

Dragon boat races are traditionally held to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, who was regarded as the greatest Chinese poet of all time. Dragonboating thus is the only sport to be celebrated as a national holiday. The Chinese lunar calendar date is 5/5 which usually corresponds to a date in June.

The boats themselves are 40' 6" long and 5' 4" wide, and weigh 1760 lbs. (800 kg). Four of the boats used in this race were donated by the city of Kaohsiung, Portland's sister city in Taiwan.

Portland has been the host of the Dragon Boat Race every year since 1989. This year's competition has a mammoth participant base of almost 100 teams hailing from all over the world.

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