XIAMEN, 3 June (BelTA - People's Daily Online). - The 2022 Cross-Straits Dragon Boat Race started on Thursday in Xiamen, Fujian province, with the two-day event attracting people from different age groups, including those from Taiwan who are studying or working in Fujian.
As one of the most important traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival, dragon boat racing is extremely popular among people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, who have a shared culture.
At the Dragon Boat Pond in Xiamen's Jimei district, 24 dragon boat teams from the mainland and 17 from Taiwan competed on Thursday in a 300-meter preliminary race and a dragon boat tug of war.
The event's opening ceremony, the traditional ritual of "eye-dotting", and the finals and prize-giving ceremony of the 300-meter race will take place on the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on Friday.
It's believed that dotting the eyes of dragon boats can actually "awaken" the awe-inspiring dragons, with auspicious implications, and this should be repeated each year before a race.
Chen Sing-long, a 21-year-old student from New Taipei City, Taiwan, said he was very excited to take part in this year's event, as "it's my first time to paddle a dragon boat".