If you are a resident of the United States there is no doubt that you may be vary familiar with the concept of Dragon Boating. Contrary to popular belief Dragon Boating is a concept that originated in the deep lands of China and was probably taken to the lands of the US by the Chinese immigrants and has developed into a great and exciting sport there.
A dragon boat consists of a narrow and very long boat that is powered by about 22 men seated in a line behind each other. This is a racing sport with many teams competing for the first position and decorating their boats with dragon heads and tails making it look like a Chinese dragon. This is why the name ‘Dragon Boat Racing’ came into being.
Few people are of the misconception that he dragon boat racing has evolved from the Ivy League rowing teams of the US. Before the boats are lowered into the water a lot of preparation goes into making the boats look like dragons. A dragon head is attached to the front of the boat and a dragon tail is placed at the rear. A lot of painting work in also done to the boat and then the oars are made to look like dragon wings or feet. A large drum in also placed on board the long narrow boat with a drummer, called a ‘cox’ beating the drum to keep the row men in time and encourage ten to give the race their best.
In ancient times there lives an ancient Chinese Patriotic poet called Qu Yuan. Dragon boat racing is organized every year to commemorate the patriot’s death anniversary and this date corresponds to the Chinese calendar 5/5 which is usually the month of June.
It is exciting to watch a team of a dragon boat rowing to make better time every time they get into the water. The entire team consists of 22 paddlers and 1 caller or drummer and one steers man at the end of the boat.. The caller either calls out to the row men or beats the drum to help the rowers keep time and make better time the steer man controls the rudder so that the boat will move in a straight line.
It is the drummer that is considered to be the main person or the heart of the team. His job is to lead the entire rowing team of the dragon boat with the rhythmic beating of his drum. He can make the rowers’ row faster or slower by increasing the stroke of his drumming. He usually matches the pace of the rowing by increasing his beating according to the pace of the there drummers around him.
Dragon boating is a sport that attracts teams from all over the world. Tens of thousands come to participate in this sporting event that is organized to commemorate the death of a patriotic poet Qu Yuan. This form of racing has a very old and rich history and is a great delight to watch or be a part of.