Here come the Dragons!

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Well, dragon boats instead of real dragons actually! The Dragon Boat Festival, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, is one of the most important traditional festivals in many countries in the Far East.

It is on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, roughly late June in Gregorian calendar. The earliest recorded dragon boat race occurred two thousands year ago and it is now a long-standing sporting tradition.

One of the internationally standard forms of racing involves 10 paddlers, one drummer and one steer in a dragon-head-decorated boat.

Following the success of previous years, this hugely popular event will be held again on this Sunday 17th June on the river Cam, by Jesus Green. The event organisers have chosen East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) as the official charity, and will donate all the proceeds to it. Come along for a great day out and help us raise money for a wonderful cause!

Last year our former Mayor George Pippas devoted his first public appearance to the Dragon Boat Festival. He echoed the words of his predecessor, Cllr. Robert Dryden: “Cambridge, proudly being a hub of multicultural exchange and interaction, welcomes this colourful and entertaining celebration and hope this to be held annually and regularly”.

Now, with the arrival from China of five specially commissioned, high-quality dragon boats, the hopes of former mayors are bound to be realised. The donation of these shiny new boats also marks the establishment of the Cambridge Zhonghua Dragon Boat Club. The Club, founded by Mr Peter Lee MBE and his friends, will be jointly organising the event for many years to come, together with many other local organisations.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julia Spence OBE QPM, will be attending the 2018 event to make an opening speech, together with other VIP guests including the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire Andrew Harter CBE FREng CEng FIET FBCS CITP FRSA, Mayor of Cambridge Nigel Gawthrope, VC of ARU, Cambridge college masters, councillors from the Chinese Embassy in London, etc. On the day, highlights will be a varsitystyle
race just like previous years, where teams from Oxford and Cambridge universities compete head-to-head on River Cam; and the hot and entertaining race between two teams led by our Mayors!

If that was not enough, on the stage on Jesus Green there will be all-day entertainment such as vocal, dance and artistic performances, Tai Chi demonstrations, Qipao shows, fabulous lion dancing, etc. Not to mention all kinds of delicious food and drink waiting to be tasted on stalls in the big marquee! The organisers have not forgotten that it also happens to be Father’s day at this year’s event. There will be all kind of family-friendly activities, like a children’s bouncy castle, face painting, paper cutting and crafting, to name a few. And better still, the organisers may have prepared a surprise raffle prize for you! It is free admission all day for everyone. So why not pop along and join in the fun

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