The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the most celebrated festivals among the Chinese. Apart from having rice dumplings of different flavors, watching dragon boat parade is also another signature thing to do during the festival. Since a century ago, the Dragon Boat Water Parade has been held every year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in Tai O. It is a religious ritual jointly organized by three fishermen’s association in west Lantau Island’s tranquil fishing village of Tai O.
Fishermen who participate in the parade will start rolling out their dragon boats to various destinations in the morning before the festival. They will visit four temples, namely, Yeung Hau, San Tsuen Tin Hau, Kwan Tai and Hung Shing, and carry the deity statues from these temples to their associations' halls for worship. On the day of the festival, the deity statues will be placed on sacred sampans and towed by the dragon boats in a parade through the waters of Tai O to pacify the wandering water ghosts. Local residents of the stilt houses along the watercourses will burn incense and paper offerings as the dragon boats pass by. After the ritual, the deity statues will be returned to their respective temples.
The parade was inscribed on China's third national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011. It offers the precious opportunity for people to get to know Hong Kong’s traditional living culture and old stilt house community. The marvellous setting is surely a unique experience in Hong Kong.
The Dragon Boat Water Parade of Tai O
Date: 9th June 2016
Venue: Tai O, Lantau Island
(1) Take the New Lantao Bus 11 at MTR Tung Chung Station to Tai O Bus Terminus. (approximately 50 minutes)
(2) MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B. Take Ngong Ping cable car to Ngong Ping Village (approximately 25 minutes). Take bus 21 to Tai O terminus (approximately 20 minutes).