2009 DFW Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival

The 2009 DFW Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival will be held on May 17th at Lake Carolyn Parkways in Irving. The festival will run from 10am-6pm and feature colorful kite flying and exciting dragon boat races, cultural performances, a lantern festival, plus traditional Asian Food, arts and crafts and educational activities. Enjoy a day of fun and exciting cultural diversity and educational activities. This event is free to the public.

dragon_boatsDragon Boat Racing
Dragon boat racing is one of the best team building sports. Dragon boat racing originated in China over 2,000 years ago. It’s an ancient Chinese festival, commemorating the great hero and patriot, Qu Yuan. Rice wrapped in water rush leaves is the traditional food used to honor his sacrifices. According to legend, the local fishermen raced out in their boats to try to save him from drowning in the Mei Lo River.

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Over the past 25 years dragon boat racing has become an organized international sport. In fact, today it has become the world’s fastest growing water sport. Dragon Boat Festivals are celebrated across Asia, in Europe, Australia, Canada and here in the US.

Originally used for communication in battle, kites were invented in China about 2,000 years ago. In the 12th century, kite making spread to the West. As the handicraft of making kites developed in China, local and traditional Chinese culture combined to produce beautiful kites depicting fairy tales, flowers, birds and other animals. Contests testing the craftsmanship and kite flying skills have been held in China for thousands of years.

chinese lanternsLanterns
The Chinese lantern was the first historically documented portable light in the world. Lanterns are displayed at the Chinese New Year Festival and the August Moon Festival. They are made in many shapes and sizes from small and simple spheres to intricate designs with portraits of historical figures, pictures of legends and landscapes and beautiful calligraphy.

About the Host:
The festival is brought to you by the Marco Polo World Foundation (MPWF), a 501c3 nonprofit organization. MPWF initiated the Annual DFW Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival in 2007. Its mission is to promote the new sport of Dragon Boating in the DFW region, showcase Asian culture, enhance intercultural understanding and celebrate Asian/Pacific heritage month during the month of May. MPWF also promotes cancer awareness and works with private and public sector partners and community organizations to encourage regional and international participation. MPWF aims to establish various funds for charities and scholarships.

For more information about this event visit www.dfwdragonboatfestival.com.

Flickr photo credits:
dragon_boat by phamp197x
Chinese Lantern Festival by geoftheref

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