Dragon boats in Guangzhou, submerged underwater for protection after last year's boat race, were awakened on May 22 during the traditional Qilongchuan Day, specially marked in the Lingnan area.
People in Pantang town, Liwan district, Guangzhou carry sacrificial offerings to Lizhiwan River for special Qilongchuan rituals. [Photo/chinanews.com]
Qilongchuan Day, which literally means " a day for digging boats out of river sludge", falls annually on the eighth day of April on the lunar calendar. In Guangzhou, locals usually prepare sacrificial offerings and perform special rituals before bringing the boats above water. Then they will clean the boats with special tools and adorn them with distinct decorations.
Residents of Pantang town clean the hull of a dragon boat. [Photo/chinanews.com]
Liede village in Tianhe district and Pantang town in Liwan district enjoy great fame for their Qilongchuan Day celebrations and, of course, their dragon boat races. On May 22, villagers in Liede dug up 12 buried dragon boats with beautiful patterns on the hulls, including drawings of the village's most famous fruits – litchis and star fruits. Pantang town, however, also caught the public eye with four of its dragon boats, including a 40-meter-long "Renwei" boat, which is over 400 years old.
The Renwei Boat is 40 meters long and over 400 years old. [Photo/chinanews.com]
After getting cleaned, the boats were sent to dragon boat factories for maintenance and painting and will once again see the light of day during the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on June 18 this year.