Holding a special place in Chinese culture, the dragon rides the clouds in the sky and commands the wind, mist and rain, with the head of an ox, a deer’s antlers, the mane of a horse and the body and scales of a snake.

The first dragon boat races were held to commemorate Qu Yuan, the great warrior poet, who committed suicide in the river Mi Lo as a protest against the political corruption of the day. Since that time over 2000 years ago, dragon boat racing has become a major part of Chinese culture, representing patriotism and group integrity.

Witness the spirit and power of the dragon come alive in Sydney as 12-metre long boats, large enough to seat up to 20 paddlers, battle it out to the beating of drums. Each boat has an ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow and a tail at the stern, while the hull is painted with dragon scales and the paddles represent the claws.

Held at Cockle Bay, City of Sydney’s Dragon Boat Races are a heartstopping way to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Check out the 2014 Dragon Boat Races

What’s On!


Eye Dotting Ceremony

Eye Dotting Ceremony

Date:
Saturday 8 February
Time:
9am

Come early to see a unique and elaborate Taoist ceremony, blessing the waters to ensure a safe weekend of racing and dabbing red paint onto the eyes of each boat’s figurehead to awaken the dragon.

Carousel-go-round

Carousel-go-round

Date:
Saturday 8 February , Sunday 9 February

Celebrate the Year of the Horse with a ride on one of Australia’s oldest carousels, installed at Palm Grove, near the Visitor Centre. With horses carved in 1885, this beautiful carousel was imported to Australia in 1894, and was operated by the Kale family at agriculture shows until 1987. It moved to Darling Harbour in 1988 and is one of only a handful surviving from the 19th century in the world today.

Children’s Activity Origami Workshops

Children’s Activity Origami Workshops

Date:
Saturday 8 February , Sunday 9 February

10.30am – 11.30am - Origami: Boat, Lotus & Horse

1.30pm – 2.30pm - Origami: Dragon Boat, Horse & Flower

3.00pm – 4.00pm - Origami: Dragon Boat, Horse & Car

FREE (limited spaces for each session)


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