Hayarkon Dragon Festival
Yes, a dragon boats festival, just like in China. Come and race in the dragons – you can do it! Pre-booking required.
A huge party on the bank of the Yarkon, free for spectators.
Daniel Rowing Centre, 2 Rokah Ave. Tel Aviv
Free parking at the Reading Parking Lot
Everyone! Ages 8 to 120
The Dragon Boats origin in Chinese tradition goes back 2,300 years. Qu Yuan was a Chinese poet and minister, during the Warring States period of ancient China. He is known for his patriotism and as a loved poet. Qu Yuan waded into the river holding a rock in order to commit ritual suicide, as a protest against the corruption of the era, and the misery of his fellow countrymen. Villagers rushed to save him, racing their boats to the middle of the river, but were too late. In order to keep the dragon and evil spirits away, they beat drums, splashed the water with their paddles, and threw rice, both as a food offering to Qu Yuan’s spirit and also to satiate the dragon. Racing to search for his body in boats became a cultural tradition, with annual Dragon Boats Festivals.
Team leaders meet at 7am for briefing, and to receive harbor passes for their crews. Crews meet at 7:30, board the boats and advance to river positions. The traditional opening ceremony starts at 8:30 – painting the dragons’ eyes, throwing rice to satiate the dragons, and announce the beginning of the party. 1st race launched at 9:00. Then races in all categories throughout the day, followed by a grand flotilla of all boats together. During races, party on the river-bank: beer, music, activities & fun. After announcing the winners, medals and prizes ceremony closes the festival. Crews, make your team costumes! For a crazy, colourful carnival. Prizes to best costume team!
Subject to availability, 1st come 1st served! Each group must have exactly 11 participants, and you can reg more than 1 group. All welcome – groups of friends, families, workplaces, classes, schools, kids & youth, as well as women-only teams. Please check the event’s regulations for more details.