Dragon Boat Races, Dubuque, Iowa

There have been Dragon Boat Races in Dubuque, Iowa for 22 years. I went to one, years ago, and felt it was more about Huckleberry Finn than about Qū Yuán....

                                                                                                                                                      龙头 - Lóng Tóu - Dragon Head

This year I went to the Dragon Boat Races again. I still think they are more about the Mississippi River than they are about the Warring States Period, but at the beginning of the races they had the "Awakening of the Dragon" ceremony which paid homage to the Chinese tradition and the poet / patriot Qū Yuán, fed the fish, and set off firecrackers.

There were 36, 22 person teams competing in the four boats provided by the Dragon Boat Association over two days. Drummers beat a cadence for the paddlers as they strived for the flag. A friend from Fujian Province, China went to the Dubuque Dragon Boat races. She compared them to the races in China saying... (continued)

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