Photographer's Note

This photo was taken today at the dragon boat races in Aberdeen.

The 2,000 year-old Dragon Boat Festival is held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It is one of Hong Kong's most exciting festivals, featuring fierce dragon boats racing in a lively, vibrant spectacle. Local dragon boat races take place throughout the territory.

The Festival commemorates the death of a popular Chinese national hero Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River during the third century B.C., in protest against a corrupt government.

To symbolise attempts to rescue Qu Yuan, the real highlight of the festival can be seen when teams race elaborately decorated dragon boats to the beat of heavy drums. The special boats, which measure more than 10 metres, have ornately carved and painted "dragon" heads and tails, and each boat carries a crew of 20 - 22 paddlers.

Participants in the races train in earnest for the competition. Sitting two abreast, with a steersman at the back and a drummer at the front, the paddlers race to reach the finishing line, urged on by the pounding drums and the roar of the crowds.

Tech: Cropped slightly. Resized. Sharpened. Brightness -3. Contrast +9.

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Additional Photos by Andrew Orme (orme) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1694 W: 114 N: 1605] (7219)
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