Explore the Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade with YWCA’s professional guided tour
The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. Apart from eating sticky rice dumplings, watching dragon boat race is also a tradition. The Dragon Boat Water Parade in Tai O, Lantau Island is a custom that has been inscribed onto the national list of intangible cultural heritage. Taking advantage of the Dragon Boat Festival this year, the Association's Y Eco Tour Tai O Cultural and Ecological Integrated Resource Centre, which has taken root in Tai O for many years, organised a special guided tour to show tourists the cultural value of the water parade, and nurture urban-rural integration.
In the early morning of Dragon Boat Festival, participants of the guided tour gathered in Tai O to witness the century-old event. The tour guide first led them to watch the lifting of Tai Chung Pedestrian Bridge in order to allow the passage of the dragon boats, which symbolised the official start of the water parade. The group then moved to another venue for traditional ritual, Yeung Hau Temple, and learnt that people in the past believed in the dragon boat parade to help them get rid of the fatal plague and bring peace to the community.
Later, participants visited the stilt house where the resident, Mr. Cheung, lived. Standing on the shed by the sea, they watched people rowing the dragon boats and listened to Mr. Cheung about the history and culture of the fishing village that only older generation in Tai O can tell. In order to let the participants appreciate the wisdom of the fishermen, they were also invited to join a workshop making sun-dried duck egg yolks, one of the local specialities of Tai O.
Other than the special guided tour for the Dragon Boat Festival this time, Y Eco Tour Tai O Cultural and Ecological Integrated Resource Center hosts regular tours with different themes, to introduce the uniqueness of Tai O to the public. Interested parties may learn more in its website: https://cerc.ywca.org.hk/