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"Dragon Boat Parade" Dragon Boat Festival in Tai O
The South China Research Center has been actively involved in studying community culture and history and promoting heritage education. By introducing a community service program through participation in rituals of the Dragon Boat Festival in Tai O, we hope that the participants can gain a first-hand experience and understanding of how local society maintains their traditions, or "Intangible Cultural Heritage", a popular topic in recent years Hong Kong.
Situating at the estuary of the Pearl River Delta with its unique geographical and ecological environment, Tai O was a major port for fishing, salt-making, agricultural and commercial activities. Various ethnic groups intermingled and a local religious system was formed. During the annual Dragon Boat Festival, on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, three fishermen associations, namely Pa Teng Hong, Sin Yu Hong and Hop Sum Tong, conduct their "Dragon Boat Parade" ritual.
The day before the festival, members of the fishermen associations paddle their dragon boats to visit the four main temples, Yeung Hau, San Tsuen Tin Hou, Kwan Tei and Hung Shing, to carry the traveling deity images, which represent Tai O' s four patron deities, to their associations. During the day of the festival, the traveling deity images are put on the "sacred sampans," towed by the respective dragon boats, to parade Tai O's water areas to pacify the wandering water ghosts. Residents of stilted houses along the water-courses burn paper offerings while the dragon boats pass. The fishermen associations hold banquets to celebrate the festival in the evening.
We would like to recruit students to join this meaningful service and learning activity. Participants will assist the local religious activities, moving and rowing dragon boats and to experience the local festival celebrations.
Participants will experience this special communal event by assisting the operation of the festival. A field trip for understanding the Parade and Tai O Society will be arranged for the participants.
Tai O Field Trip & Paddling Workshop*
Date: May 18, 2019 (Sat)
Venue: Tai O, Lantau Island
Service-learning program, Dragon Boat Parade*
Date: June 5-7, 2019 (Wed to Fri)
Venue: Tai O, Lantau Island
Deposit: HK$200 (Refundable upon Completion of the Service)
Participants: Students (with priority) and staff members
Organizers: South China Research Center, HKUST & Joint Association of Traditional Dragon-Boats in Tai O, Hong Kong
Funded by: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
Remarks: Participants should consider whether their physical condition is suitable for these outdoor activities. Please wear sportswear and prepare your sunblock product, raincoat, slippers and sleeping bag (recommended). Only swimmers are allowed to paddle the dragon boats.
* These activities are part of the "Tai O's Traditional Dragon Boat Water Parade and Heritage Conservation Program 2018-2020".