An ancient Chinese legend accounts for the mainstays of the Dragon Boat Festival, the dragonboat races and the dumplings. The stories have fused well with the tradition of Chinese fishermen using dragon-shaped boats to appease river ‘dragons’, which evolved into a sport during the Han dynasty.
Today, many features of the ancient races remain intact, from the long and narrow boat shapes to the prows painted with dragons’ heads to the drums which set the pace for the rowers.
In Singapore, a festive atmosphere rules as participants pull furiously on their oars, leaders beat their drums, flags are waved and spectators cheer on their favourite teams.
It is vigorous action, tragic history and thrilling camaraderie, blended into one compelling and exciting spectacle. (From Singapore Tourism Board website)