NYC VIBE at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York City – JetBlue In Flight Entertainment

If you have never been to Hong Kong, you may want to plan a trip to the borough of Queens.

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival sailed into Flushing Meadows Corona Park for its 27th Annual race in New York City, celebrating the year of the Rooster.

Chinese Dragon Boat Racing is an ancient tradition which dates back to the year 278 BC. The race is based on the story of Chinese poet Qu Yuan.

According to legend, when the poet, who was disliked by the king, had learned that his home had been invaded, he threw himself into the Mi Lo River, which was populated with fish and water dragons. When the townspeople heard the news, they raced to the river to rescue him, however they failed. The tragic tale of Qu Yuan Inspired the timeless tradition of Dragon Boat Racing.

The New York Hong Kong Boat Festival is the oldest, largest, and most traditional Dragon Boat Festival in the United States. This year’s race took on a special significance as it marked the 20th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China.

A record number of teams competed in this year’s races, with crowds estimated at over 50,000 for two days of celebrations and racing. Featuring a dragon head at the front and a dragon tail at the rear, the boats were piloted by up to 20 crew members each – Including 18 paddlers, a drummer and a “steers” person.

In addition to the races, New Yorkers enjoyed arts & crafts exhibitions and international foods along with colorful dance and musical performances. Next year, the New York Hong Kong Dragon Boat festival will celebrate the year of the Dog. Once again, Meadow Lake in Queens will temporarily transform into the Mi Lo River in China, where Dragon Boats first raced in 278 BC!