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Annual Dragon Boat Festival kicks off festivities with ceremony in Times Square
Annual Dragon Boat Festival kicks off festivities with ceremony in Times Square

Jul. 12, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

The annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, coming to Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens on Aug. 3 and 4, kicked off its festivities with the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Awakening Ceremony in Times Square on July 11.

Festivities included a performance by the New York Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Center members, who showcased their acrobatic martial arts skills in the “Crossroads of the World” for dignitaries and guests. 

In a special ceremony, Buddhist Monk Shi Hong Sheng performed the traditional awakening blessing of two large race boats, colorfully decorated with a hand-painted dragon head at the front and tail at the rear. The ritual is supposed to bring prosperity and good fortune to everyone involved in this year’s Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, which celebrates the Year of the Dragon. For some extra good luck, dignitaries and guests concluded the event by dotting the eyes of the dragons with red paint. 

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