sunny.png
Sunday September 25th, 2022 8:02AM

As COVID retreats, dragon boat tradition back in south China

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — The dragon boat tradition returned in parts of China on Friday for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic in late 2019, as restrictions are lifted along with a major drop in COVID-19 cases.

The historic Lychee Bay scenic area in the southern Chinese manufacturing hub of Guangzhou staged boat displays and other scaled-back celebrations to mark the holiday commemorating the death more than 2,200 years ago of revered poet and government minister Qu Yuan.

Restrictions on the length of events and the size of crowds remained in place but did little to dampen the mood.

Along with the displays and traditional boat races — featuring teams of up to a dozen or more paddlers but which were not held this year due to pandemic measures — the holiday is marked by community gatherings and the enthusiastic consumption of steamed rice dumplings cooked with meat, peanuts and other ingredients and wrapped in green leaves bound with string.

China recorded just 74 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and restrictions have been eased in cities such as Shanghai, which had been under strict lockdown for more than two months.

While travel restrictions, testing requirements, quarantines and mask mandates remain, the country is gradually emerging from its hard-line “zero-COVID" policy that has throttled the domestic economy and severely constricted global supply chains.

Guangzhou native June He said it was a relief to finally be able to enjoy the festival again after the cancellations of the previous two years.

“I feel particularly excited and happy,” said He, who was among the spectators watching the crews from Panting village compete in the carefully-decorated boats as long as 38 meters (125 feet).

Wang Haoran, a tourist from Inner Mongolia in China's far north, said he'd only ever experienced the festival through books and television.

“I wasn’t able to get a sense of the magnificence of the event," Wang said.

The dragon boat tradition dates back 500 years, and residents a century ago began displaying the boats as works of folk art and craftmanship.

The return of dragon boat festivities also delighted small businesses in the area.

“It’s good for various parties, including tourists. There will be lively scenes here again,” said Ji Tuhui, the owner of a small bakery selling traditional Cantonese pastries.

While business has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, Friday's dragon boat performance brought tourists and their spending money, Ji said.

“This is an unforgettable experience. But it’s OK. We were able to hold this event under such strict conditions,” he said.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the festival featured boat displays, not races.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
As COVID retreats, dragon boat tradition back in south China
Dragon boat festivities have returned in parts of China for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic in late 2019 as restrictions are lifted along with a major drop in COVID-19 cases
8:43AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Live updates | Spanish PM visits Moldova, offers support
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has paid an official visit to Moldova, which borders Ukraine, in a public show of support as the country eyes Russia’s ambitions in the region and shelters thousands of Ukrainian refugees
8:39AM ( 19 minutes ago )
US added 390,000 jobs in May as hiring remained robust
U.S. employers added a healthy 390,000 jobs last month, extending a streak of solid hiring that has bolstered an economy under pressure from high inflation and interest rates
8:38AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Queen Elizabeth II skips Platinum Jubilee church service
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, joined other members of Britain’s royal family Friday at a church service honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne
6:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
Security concerns leave Afghan evacuees stuck in Balkan camp
Some Afghans who were evacuated from their country as it fell to the Taliban last summer have found their journey to the United States stalled at a cluster of tents and temporary housing at a military base in the Balkans
6:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
Live updates | EU formally approves embargo on Russia oil
The European Union has formally approved an embargo on Russian oil and other sanctions targeting major banks and broadcasters over Moscow’s war on Ukraine
4:58AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP National News
Officials: Fugitive suspected of killing 5 fatally shot
State prison officials say a convicted murderer on the run since escaping a prison bus after stabbing its driver on May 12 has been killed after he killed a family of five and took their truck
12:46AM ( 8 hours ago )
Biden appeals for tougher gun laws: 'How much more carnage?'
President Joe Biden has delivered an impassioned plea to Congress to act on gun control
12:39AM ( 8 hours ago )
Tulsa shooting highlights vulnerability of hospitals
Hospitals, like schools, are not typically designed to guard against the threat of a determined gunman entering the building to take lives
12:26AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Live updates | Spanish PM visits Moldova, offers support
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has paid an official visit to Moldova, which borders Ukraine, in a public show of support as the country eyes Russia’s ambitions in the region and shelters thousands of Ukrainian refugees
8:39AM ( 22 minutes ago )
US added 390,000 jobs in May as hiring remained robust
U.S. employers added a healthy 390,000 jobs last month, extending a streak of solid hiring that has bolstered an economy under pressure from high inflation and interest rates
8:38AM ( 23 minutes ago )
San Francisco could vote out progressive DA in heated recall
Politically liberal San Francisco could vote out one of the most progressive prosecutors in the country not even three years after he was elected
8:24AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Wall Street points lower with eye on May jobs report
Wall Street was poised for losses Friday ahead of the U.S. government’s monthly jobs report, which analysts expect to show some softening in an otherwise strong labor market
8:21AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Police fatally shoot Texas fugitive after family of 5 killed
Texas prison officials say a convicted murderer on the run since escaping a prison bus after stabbing its driver last month has been fatally shot by law enforcement after he killed a family of five and took their truck
8:19AM ( 42 minutes ago )