Dragon boat races set to return to Suzhou Creek

Yang Jian
Shanghai's annual dragon boat race will return to Suzhou Creek this year, after the traditional event had to be downsized and moved to Changfeng Park due to the pandemic last year.
Yang Jian
Dragon boat races set to return to Suzhou Creek
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The city's annual dragon boat races on Suzhou Creek in 2019.

Shanghai's annual dragon boat races will return to Suzhou Creek this year, after the traditional event had to be downsized and moved to Changfeng Park due to the pandemic last year.

Some 50 teams from home and abroad will race along a downtown section of the creek in Putuo District, known as the "Crown of the Suzhou Creek," next weekend.

About 1,000 professional and amateur paddlers will compete with top dragon boat racers from the city and across China. They must have an acid nucleic test report within seven days or vaccination certificate to take part in the event.

Participants will race on 200- and 500-meter sections of the creek on June 5 and 6 ahead of this year's Dragon Boat Festival on June 14. Six women's teams will take part in the annual competition for the first time.

Dragon boat races are a traditional Chinese custom to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival, dating back to the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).

The Suzhou Creek dragon boat race was launched in 2004 to highlight the results of a cleanup campaign. It has become an important fixture in Putuo, as it showcases the city's commitment to the environment and rapid urban development, according to the Putuo District government.

Putuo has been constantly working to improve the water quality of Suzhou Creek since the 1980s, and intends to develop the area into an ecological zone and ideal place for living, working and innovation. A continuous riverside path, stretching for 21 kilometers in Putuo, the longest downtown section, has opened to the public.

In addition to the race, an exhibition about China's traditional Dragon Boat Festival culture will be held in Mengqing Park along the creek.

This year's exhibition will be themed around the development of Putuo to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

Heritage performances and skill shows, such as making zongzi (a traditional glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings) and traditional Chinese medicine, will be displayed on the sidelines of the race in the park.

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