14 September 2019 Dragon Boat Festival in Antwerp (2019)
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.
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is recognised as one of the Antwerp's biggest annual events. Thirty dragon boat teams took part in a full day of racing, attracting around 7 000 enthusiastic paddlers and visitors. Many community groups and companies in Belgium also took part in the Festival as a team-building event. The University of Antwerp and Ghent University in Belgium also fielded teams in this year's races.
The starting shot was provided by the Deputy Representative of HKETO, Brussels, Miss Fiona Chau, who also presented the trophy to the champion.
At the Festival, booklets and information about Hong Kong, including its many tourist attractions and first Talent List of Hong Kong, were distributed at the Hong Kong booth set up by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels. Visitors to the booth received Hong Kong brand prizes after successfully completing a quiz about Hong Kong.
Antwerpen - Belgium