"A Little History On Dragon Boats"
A 2,500 year old Chinese tradition celebrates the awakening of the mountain dragons
that come down to rivers and the sea in the Spring."Dragon boats are awakened, or given life,
during the traditional "dotting of the eye" ceremony. Bright red ribbons are draped
over the dragon heads (red is the Chinese colour for good luck).
A priest blesses the head, tail and drum with his sword.
An official of the community is given the honour of dotting
the dragon's eyes to give sight. The official asks the dragon to
awaken and to protect all who ride within as well as the
relatives, friends and spectators. Finally, a handful of buckwheat is
thrown into the boat to give it speed and good luck.
Hosting dragon boat races is thought to bring health, happiness and prosperity,
as well as offering protection from the unfriendly spirits of the sea.
It is not hard to imagine why many of the thousands who flock to
witness this ancient sport,come away with a renewed appreciation for life".
Note: the above information taken from the book,'Dragon Boats, a Celebration'by Pat Barker.