Dragon Boats Racing On The Charles River

Photo: Chaiel Schaffel/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival was held Sunday on the Charles River. 

The festival started in Boston back in 1979 and sparked the growth of the sport.

There are now hundreds of teams and competitions all over the country. 

It is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.

On Sunday, decorated boats with mythical creatures for heads glided through the waters of the Charles River.

While the colorful festival is very much a visual spectacle, it's also a competition and a race to crown a Dragon Boat champion.

Jeffrey Wang is one of the festival's organizers.

He said the origin of the race started in ancient China, when according to mythology, a well-respected poet and statesman became disappointed with his government. "He felt there was no hope, so he jumped into the river," Wang said. "The villagers tried to save him, so they paddled dragon boats out."

According to legend, the attempt to save him failed. But the myth of the dragon boats was born.

Along with boat races, the festival featured traditional Chinese music and food.

WBZ NewsRadio's Chaiel Schaffel (@CSchaffelWBZ) reports.

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