In Hong Kong, the Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng Jit in Cantonese) occurs on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and is one of the most important Chinese festivals with the longest history, going back 2,000 years. Dragon Boat racing is also a prominent sport in Hong Kong at other times of year, with an estimated 30,000 active paddlers. The sport is becoming increasingly popular around the world and has ten official competition teams in the Netherlands alone. Belgium caught the bug in 2011, when the Festival was held in Antwerp for the first time at the initiative of Antwerp Rotary West.
This year, thirty-two teams of paddlers took part in the 8th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at the Havenhuis in the Port of Antwerp on Saturday 15 September 2018.
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival attracted 6000 enthusiastic spectators and participants. The starting shot was given by Deputy Representative of HKETO, Brussels, Miss Fiona Chau, while Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union, Ms Shirley Lam, presented the trophy to the fastest team. The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels entered two boats in the races. One of them, Hong Kong International Paddlers, with a crew of locals and expats, made it to the finals.
An additional attraction this year was a new, talented professional drummer team “FeniksTaiko”, whose members engaged with the public and showed them how to perform impressive musical displays.
Antwerpen - Belgium