Dragon Boat Races Suspended in SW China's Guizhou amid Pandemic

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GUIYANG, China, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Dragon boat races have been suspended at the Dragon Boat Festivals in different areas in southwest China's Guizhou province, due to COVID-19 pandemic control and prevention, according to local authorities on Thursday.

The festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month, has a history of more than 2000 years.

There are several counties and districts in Guizhou staging dragon boat races every year, attracting more than 100,000 attendees. But the latest wave of the pandemic in Beijing meant this year's races had to be cancelled.

"We had to suspend the race," said Wang Yuxue, the deputy director of the administration of sports in Bijiang district, adding that suspending is the best way to avoid mass gatherings. "The public have showed their understanding and support," Wang added.

Zhenyuan county, which has long been famous for its dragon boat races since the Ming and Qing dynasties, decided to suspend its race several days ago.

"Although the government of the county actively suspended Dragon boat race, the ritual Dragon worship, which is an important part of the race, will take place with limited number of 30-40 people participating," said Zhang Guoquan, vice president of the Zhenyuan Dragon Boat Association.

"It is reasonable to suspend the dragon boat race as there will be so many people coming to watch, we should be cautious," Luo Jianhua, an organizer of dragon boat races in Huishui county, adding that his county just allowed crews to go boating for a short period of time to complete the "dragon boat down to the river" ritual.

Source: Xinhua