Dragon Boats

Yesterday, as we struggled through traffic on the way to church and then struggled further to find a parking spot where parking spots are usually plentiful, it occurred to us that we were in the midst of the dragon boat festival.  As I was very curious to see flying boats that shoot fire, we decided as a family that, after church of course, we would go and check it out.

Now, you may not believe what I am about to tell you, but as it turns out, these “dragon boats” neither flew, breathed fire, guarded treasure piles, had scales, nor kidnapped a single princess.  Apparently I was confusing dragon boats with “Boat Dragons,” which are something else entirely.  No, dragon boats are just long, skinny, flat boats with a dragon’s head mounted on the front of them.  Rather grisly, but hey, whatever floats your…oh nevermind, it’s too easy.

We walked down to the waterfront (for as we all learned from Puff, dragons live by the sea), and there we saw a bunch of boats that looked kind of like this:

So, still pretty cool, even if they weren’t actual dragons.  We got to see a couple of races, and I think we got the basic idea of how these things work.  First you fill your boat with rowers.  This is to make the boat go.  Then, you put a guy up front on drums, Ben-Hur style.  This is to make the rowers go.  The rowers row in time with the beating drum, so basically whoever has the fastest drummer, wins the race.  This is why, traditionally, all races are won by Animal, the popular drummer from The Electric Mayhem.  Since Animal has a very busy schedule, what with his new movie coming out in November and all, he is generally unavailable to be on one’s dragon boat team.  To compensate for this, the drummers try to channel the spirit of Animal by dressing in outlandish costumes while shouting and growling as loudly as possible.  We saw several great costumes out there, including one person dressed as the sun.  Here is a good shot of someone dressed either as a viking, or an opera singer:

There was also some sort of festival attached to the races, with a lot of nice smelling tents, but as we did not have any cash on us, we were not able to snack in the manner in which we are normally accustomed, so we left in search of lunch.  I’m sure the rest of the festival was fun, and perhaps we will go back again next year, but the point of all of this is just, don’t except real dragons.  Or even flying boats.  And bring cash.

Posted in Dragon Boats, Photo.

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