23th & 24th December (2 days)0930 - 1700
Dragon Boat Festival was originating from China among the Chinese community. In China, local called it Duanwu (Mandarin language) Festival. There are many stories of its origin have been told. Among the ancient stories were Qu Yuan, Wu Zixu, Cao E and Wen Yiduo. But the most popular stories are about a loyal great patriot and poet in China named Qu Yuan (340 BCE – 278). Qu Yuan was a high rank offices during the kingdom of Chu. He against the corruption within the country and wrote lots of poems on his love to the country. However, during warring period Qu Yuan was banished through political intrigue when the Chu Kingdom decided to allied with Qin Kingdom. Due to opposing alliance, Qu Yuan was accused of traitor. He wrote two famous poems that were remembered till now. Twenty-eight years later the rivals, Dynasty Qin, conquered the Chu Kingdom back. He committed suicide by throwing himself into the Mi Luo River rather than seeing his own native land invaded by his rivals. The suicide is on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of the year. His countrymen paddled swiftly to the middle of the river to retrieve Qu Yuan body, while others threw packets of rice, which was wrapped with bamboo leaf, in the water to distract the fish from eating the Qu Yuan’s body.
Since the incident, the Chinese community every year celebrates the Duanwu festival, which commemorates the death of the Qu Yuan. Today, Dragon Boat festival is not only celebrated in China, but also other country, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Some of the most activities for Duanwu Festival are eating zongzi (means glutinous rice dumplings containing minced meat, beans, and chestnuts), drinking wine, dragon boats racing and activities of making egg stand at 12 noon. Currently, this have made an international festival. The International Federations for dragon boat sport are the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) and its Continental Federations, the European Dragon Boat Federation (EDBF) and the Asian Dragon Boat Federation (ADBF).
Each boat is mounted with a dragon's head and tail, carved to meet the traditional Chinese dragon appearance. Each boat consisted of up to twenty paddlers, facing the front of the boat with a drummer sit in front, dictating the rhythm for the team. In China, they even constructed large boat consists up to 40 paddlers.
In Malaysia, Dragon Boat festival is one of the major tourist attractions from all over the world held in Penang annually. Initially, the races were open only to Malaysian teams and was 1st held in 1959 in collaborate with the 100th founding anniversary of Georgetown. In 1979, Dragon Boat festival was opened to overseas participants. To join the International race, the group must be an affiliate with the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). Every year, the race takes place at Teluk Bahang Dam for two days and to all types of categories, namely Premier (Open, Women and Mixed), Senior 40, Junior 18 and Junior 23.