Enter the dragon: Cambridge celebrates Chinese boat festival in summer sunshine


Dragons descended on the River Cam for a major festival in the Chinese calendar.

The Dragon Boat Festival left from Jesus Green on Saturday morning (May 27), with teams from around the country racing down the Cam.

Organiser Andy Tse, from the Cambridge Chinese Community Centre, said: “We’re delighted with the turnout today. I’d say almost 1,000 people came. It went very well. The highlight was of course the Oxbridge race, which Cambridge won.

“Everyone seemed to have a great time, which motivates me to host it again next year.”

The ancient Chinese tradition, dating back more than 2,000 years, sees up to 11 people paddling a boat in a race down the river.

The first participants of the festival were said to be superstitious Chinese villagers, who celebrated the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, with the racing held to encourage rains for prosperity and to avert misfortune.

Cambridge went head-to-head with Oxford for the second time this year, seeing the home side take the victory in the Oxbridge race.

But Oxford won the tournament overall, as the Cambridge Chinese Football Team came second.

Chinese food was also available for visitors, alongside a number of stalls and musical entertainment.

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