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Experiencing unique night dragon gathering activity in Shunde, Guangdong

"No dragon boat, no Dragon Boat Festival." In Shunde, dragon boat activities encompass more than just competition; they also focus on aesthetics. Shunde's dragon boats come in two varieties: "touring dragons" and "racing dragons". Touring dragons are ornately decorated and emphasize leisurely cruising while racing dragons prioritize speed and competition. These two types of dragon boats create contrasting scenes on the river in Shunde: on the eastern side, dragon boat teams are sprinting with rhythmic drumbeats, while on the western side, paddlers are joyfully playing on the water.

 Accompanied by music and drum beats, boatmen jump up and down to "press" the hull of the boat

 Colorful Ronggui touring dragons

The dragon boat culture in Ronggui, Shunde, boasts a rich history and vibrant atmosphere. Every second day of the lunar month, in the southern community of Ronggui Subdistrict, Shunde District, dozens of traditional dragon boats gather. These boats are adorned with gongs, drums, colorful umbrellas, and lanterns, transforming into "night dragon boats." What makes this event even more special is the energetic performance of the boatmen, who, accompanied by rhythmic music, dance and move on the boats, resembling a "disco" atmosphere, earning it the playful nickname of "Guangdong's exclusive DISCO".

 Splashing water, laughing, super joyful!

 Light and shadow create a dreamy and fantastical fairyland

On June 7th, 2024, the "Shunde Joyful Dragon Boat" Cultural Festival and the 8th Annual Night Dragon Gathering event in the southern community of Ronggui showcased the festivities. With the thunderous sounds of drums, splashes of water, and colorful dragon boats, each elaborately crafted dragon boat glided under bridges to captivate the audience's attention.

 On the dragon boat, a father held his child and asked him to try to beat drums

 No matter how heavy the rain is, it cannot quench the interest of citizens and tourists in watching the night dragons

How are these dazzling night dragons created? The decoration of the night dragons typically begins 3-4 days in advance. This process primarily involves assembling LED light strips in their designated positions and connecting these strips in serial to ensure the lights illuminate properly. Each traditional dragon boat requires several hundred meters of light strips, including approximately 30 meters for the body and additional lengths for various patterns. Additionally, they need to be equipped with portable power sources. The cost of decorating each night dragon ranges from 4,000 to 5,000 yuan per year at least.

Witness the birth of the shining dragon head

Source | Yangcheng Evening News

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