The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2021 is on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens on Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 9am to 4pm. Rain or shine. FREE hkdbf-ny.org
This multicultural festival is the largest and most traditional dragon boat festival in the United States.
NYC’s Chinese community is one of the largest and fastest-growing immigrant communities, although many of us have been American families for generations. Flushing is the home of one of NYC’s great Chinatowns. New York City has nine Chinatowns. The Metro Region has twelve.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2021
The racing is in Meadow Lake. Other festivities are in the Model Airplane Field. Racing starts at 9am. The opening ceremony is at 12 noon. Festivities continue until 4pm.
This year’s festival is scaled down for the pandemic, but is focused on things that are important to all of us: vaccination, reopening NYC and ending anti-Asian and other hate crimes.
Featured performers include:
- The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York. Instagram @cmeny1961
- Dance China NY from the New York Chinese Cultural Center. Instagram @nychineseculturalcenter
- Martial arts by Shaolin Monks
- Steel drums by the CASYM Steel Orchestra (Caribbean American Sport & Cultural Youth Movement). Instagram @casymsteelorchestra
There will be food trucks, a Queens speciality, and community organizations. You can get vaccinated for free too.
Dragon Boat Racing Traditions
This ancient tradition comes down to us from the 3rd century BCE (that’s -300). Poet and performer Qu Yuan drowned himself in protest of a bad emperor’s policies. The people raced to save him and then beat drums and splashed paddles to prevent the fish and water dragons from eating his body. This is where Dragon Boat Racing comes from.
There are similar traditions all over East and Southeast Asia. Water used to be the world’s highway and in many places still is. Boating skills are key to life.
From the Editor
We have been Chinese Americans since at least 1815 and there are heritage and modern Chinese influences all over the Caribbean and Latin America. Where do you think New York City’s legendary Chinese Cuban restaurants come from? Also all Indigenous Americans originate in Asia.
All this Asian hate was manufactured by a fake president trying to cover up his own incompetence. It has no basis in reality. Hating “others” is the worst form of self-hatred. There is no other. There is only us.
It’s striking when a community that is being unjustly attacked still stands in solidarity with other communities. Generosity is a mark of greatness. We are with you and you are with us. (New York Latin Culture Magazine’s editor is half Asian and a quarter Chinese descent who was raised in Old Chinatown Los Angeles).
New York life is best when we celebrate each other.
See you at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival! hkdbf-ny.org