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Dragon Boat Racing Hong Kong c.1937

Get close to the action with this high-octane footage of a traditional Chinese water sport.

Amateur film 1937 5 mins Silent


Dragon boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition and part of the annual Duanwu Festival, thought to date back 2,000 years. This amateur footage of the races in progress was shot from a neighbouring boat - a perfect vantage point to capture the pulse and energy of the majestic longboats, with their ceremonial drummers and gong strikers, and crew of paddlers who thrash the water in perfect unison.

The boats were traditionally made from teak wood in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province, near Hong Kong. This film was shot in Hong Kong's Aberdeen Harbour, by amateur filmmaker A. J. Hall, who shot several films in the region in the late 1930s.