"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 17, 2018

July 14 - Finger Lake International Dragon Boat Festival

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

"The sensation of energy expands with increasing relaxation."―Ilchi Lee
Today we went to the Finger Lake International Dragon Boat Festival, held at Taughannock Falls Park. Dragon boat races are one of the most typical traditions of Chinese Dragon Boat Festival which was traditional held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. They began in the Guangdong Province of China more than 2000 years ago. For more than 20 centuries the competition took place as a part of religious ceremonies and folk customs, but beginning in the 1970s dragon boat racing emerged as an international sport. But the history of dragon boats in competition reaches as far back as the same era as the original games of Olympia in ancient Greece.
A dragon boat has a long narrow shape. Traditional dragon boats were made of teak wood. Currently, boats made for competitive purposes use carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. Both the fore and aft of the boats are decorated with dragon’s head and tail and the body of the boat is carved or painted with traditional patterns like waves, clouds or beasts, using bright colors such as red, blue, green, black and gold. 
The crew of a dragon boat usually consists of a drummer, a sweep (steersman) and paddlers. The main force comes from paddlers who power the boat and the drummer who guides the frequency and synchronicity of all the paddlers' moves. The drumbeat is also a useful way to inspire the crew’s spirits in competition. The sweep controls the direction of the boat.

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