The 23rd of June is the traditional DuanWu festival (the 5th day of the 5th month of Chinese Lunar Year) or in Cantonese it is called Tuen Ng Festival. On this traditional festival, Hong Kong people will eat Zongzi (a Chinese food made of gluteus rice stuffed with different fillings such as pork, preserved egg yolk,sugar,red bean paste,etc.), and of course watch the Dragon Boat Race. [Read more about “2011 Tuen Ng Festival in Hong Kong”]

Zongzi Store with different options

Zongzi Store with different options

For all the Dragon Boat Race lovers and Chinese culture lovers, June and July are definitely your carnival. Hong Kong celebrates this festival with so many Dragon Boat Race that you will of course not miss and at least catch one.

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2012 Dragon Boat Race Timetable on June:

Best News of All: All Admission is Free

Easter District Dragon Boat Race

It is an annual traditional activity and this year is also for celebrating the 15th Anniversary of HKSAR Establishment. It is expected to have more than 30 teams join this event.

Date: 17th June 2012 8:00am-5:00pm
Venue: Chai Wan Cargo Handling Basin (opposite to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Off)
Narration: Cantonese

How to Get There:

Take MTR to Chai Wan station. Exit through Exit C and transfer to minibus 20M and get off at Sheung On Street (you can ask the driver to remind you)

 

Southern Lamma Island Invitational Dragon Boat Race

It is an annual traditional activity and to celebrate Tin Hau Festival.

Date: 19th June 2012 10:30pm-2:30pm
Venue: Lok Chau Wan, Lamma Island
Narration: Cantonese

How to Get There:

Take the ferry from Central Pier 4 directly to Lamma Island or Take MTR to Hong Kong station and exit through Exit D. Transfer to Bus 70 from Central Exchange Square to Aberdeen. Then take a boat from Aberdeen Promenade to Lok Chau Wan.

 

Aberdeen Dragon Boat Race

It is an annual traditional activity to celebrate Tuen Ng Festival and this year also celebrates the 15 Anniversary of HKSAR Establishment.

Date: 23th June 2012 8:30am-4:00pm
Venue: Aberdeen Promenade, Aberdeen Praya Road
Narration: Cantonese and English

How to Get There:

Take MTR to Hong Kong station and exit through Exit D. Transfer to Bus 70 from Central Exchange Square to Aberdeen.

Note: The famous Hong Kong Theme Park “Ocean Park Hong Kong” is close to the Aberdeen Promenade with approx 15-20min taxi ride.

 

Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships (Highly Recommended)

It is Hong Kong’s largest Tuen Ng Festival Dragon Boat Race that more than 200 teams and 4000 paddlers will join. Teams are coming from Hong Kong, U.K., Holland, France, Swiss, etc. From the name of the teams we already can judge that there will be lots of dressed-up teams like “Panda Paddlers”, “Hammerhead Sharks”, “Tai Tam Tigers”. It’s more like a fancy dress party than an exciting competition. [Read more about “Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships”]

Stanley is also a famous attraction in Hong Kong that you can spend a day there and take a look around. [Read more about “Stanley and Repulse Bay”]

Date: 23rd June 2012 8:00am-6:00pm
Venue:Stanley Main Beach
Narration: Cantonese and English

How to Get There:

Take MTR to Hong Kong station and exit through Exit D. Transfer to Bus 6, 6X or 260 at Central’s Exchange Square to Stanley.

Dragon Boat Race-Chinese Soldier Team

Dragon Boat Race-Chinese Soldier Team

(Note:the copyright of this photo belongs to Stanley Dragon Boat Association)

Dragon Boat Race-Avatar Team:Panda Team:Golden Wig Team

Dragon Boat Race-Avatar Team:Panda Team:Golden Wig Team

Stanley Dragon Boat Race

Stanley Dragon Boat Race

 

Tai O Water Parade and Dragon Boat Competition (Highly recommended)

In 2011, Tai O Dragon Boat Parade – the over 100-year traditional “Water Parade” ritual was listed as an item of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage”. On the day before the festival, members from Tai O’s fishermen associations will take the deity statues out from four Tai O’s temples Yeung Hou Temple, Kwan Tai Temple, Hung Shing Temple as well as Tin Hau Temple to the association hall. On the day of Tuen Ng Festival, the deity status will be loaded on small boats towed by three dragon boats through water channels of Tai O. During the ritual, Fa Yi* is performed to pacify the wandering water ghost and pray for the safety of residents. About 2000 people will join this event to pacify “the wandering water ghosts” and pray for the health. If you have a chance, do not miss it and experience the special culture of Hong Kong. On the same day, there will be the Tai O Dragon Boat Race Competition with over 14 boat teams racing for the honor.

Kwan Tai Temple in Tai O

Kwan Tai Temple in Tai O

Tin Hau Temple in Tai O

Tin Hau Temple in Tai O

Tai O Fishing Village is a famous attraction in Hong Kong and is close to the Ngong Ping where you will find the famous Big Buddha, Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Po Lin Monastery and many other attractions. [Know more about “Attractions in Ngong Ping Lantau Island“]

*Note:Fa Yi – Cantonese, burning to comfort the ghosts

Stilt Houses in Tai O

Stilt Houses in Tai O

Date:
23rd June 2012 7:00am-2:00pm (Tai O Dragon Boat Parade)
23rd June 2012 8:00am-2:00pm (Tai O Dragon Boat Race)
Venue:
Tai O Creek and Pier, Lantau Island (Tai O Dragon Boat Parade)
Tai O Promenade, Lantau Island (Tai O Dragon Boat Race)
Narration: Cantonese

How to Get There:

Take MTR to Tung Chung station and exit through Exit B. Transfer to New Lantau Bus No.11 to Tai O. Or take ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo where you then transfer to New Lantau Bus No.1 to Tai O.

 

Cheung Chau Tuen Ng Dragon Boat Race

To celebrate both Tuen Ng Festival as well as the 15th Anniversary of HKSAR Establishment.

Date: 23rd June 2012 10:am-4:30pm
Venue: Typhoon shelter Cheung Chau (near Chueng Chau Pak She Praya Road)
Narration: Cantonese

How to Get There:

Take ferry from Central Pier 5 directly to Cheung Chau

 

Sha Tin Dragon Boat Race 2012

If you think Tai O and Cheung Chau are two far away and not convenient, Sha Tin Dragon Boat Race is a better option. It is held annually over 25 years and is one of the most popular races in Hong Kong.

Date: 23rd June 2012 8:00am-12:30pm
Venue: Shing Mun River, Sha Tin
Narration: Cantonese

How to Get There:

Take MTR to Sha Tin station and exit through Exit A. Walk through New Town Plaza to Sha Tin Park and forward to the riverside (about 10 min walk)

Note: New Town Plaza is large shopping mall featuring with many international brands. Next to New Town Plaza, there is a small Theme Park “Snoopy’s World” which is a good option during the shopping break and for those fans of Snoopy and “Peanuts”.

 

Sai Kung Dragon Boat Race 2012

To celebrate both Tuen Ng Festival as well as the 15th Anniversary of HKSAR Establishment.

Date: 23rd June 2012 8:am-1:30pm (race) 2:00pm-5:00pm (carnival)
Venue: Sai Kung Town Waterfront Sai Kung
Narration: Cantonese and English

How to Get There:

Take MTR to Hang Hau station and exit through Exit B1. Tranfer to minibus 101M to Sai Kung Town terminus.

 

Insider Tips: Please be aware that Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships and Tai O Water Parade and Dragon Boat Competition are very popular activities and attraction areas that it has high possibility that there will be crowded. Since they both are in downtown area, please calculate enough time on the way.

Besides the dragon boat race, Hong Kong also has many other activities to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of HKSAR Establishment, such as Fireworks Display over Victoria Harbour (1st of July), the International Military Tattoo Performance (22nd-24th of June) as well as the Dragon Dance Parade (30th of June). If you would like to enjoy the Fireworks Display, don’t forget you have a chance to watch the fireworks on the Victoria Harbour Tour.