About Lukang Dragon Boat Festival
“Lukang Dragon Boat Festival” originated as a folklore activity in 1978. Continuing to this day, it markets the historic monuments, humanistic scenes, handicraft, culture, gourmet food and more in Lukang. Held in an expanded and extended scale, the “Lukang Dragon Boat Festival” has become an important program from 2006 during the festival in Taiwan and listed as one of the “12 Major Festivals in Taiwan.” In addition, it was also introduced in the “Sightseeing Calendar of Taiwan” by the Bureau of Tourism, becoming one of the most important sightseeing events, after receiving the awards of “The Township of Smile,” “Top 10 Sightseeing Towns in Taiwan,” and the sponsoring of “2012 Taiwan Lantern Festivals.”
Although dragon boat contests are held in various towns and cities in Taiwan on the same day, there is only one place in central Taiwan that sponsors dragon boat competition on the Dragon Boat Festival – Lukang. Originally, the contest was held at Fulu River. Due to construction along the river, the location was moved to Jian Duct in Changhua Coast about a decade ago. Last year, with anticipation of local citieens the race will return back to Fulu River. It is the first time to hold the dragon boat race in the evening this year just to provide people a more comfortable space for watching the race. It also hopes to allow more people to enjoy the nocturnal mood of Lukang. Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival at Lukang has become a highly expected carnival for people coming from different places of Taiwan as well as local folks. We conduct exchanges between cities with culture, sports, and tourism, and spend a happy holiday with exercises, giving this event more important meanings.
“Dragon worship” is the only folk activity held before launching the dragon boat onto the water on the Dragon Boat Festival in the 5th lunar month. In the rite, Lukang people pray to the deity and request the “Dragon King” to patrol around the neighborhood and invite the “Water Deity” to accompany him to sponsor the “Dragon King Rite, Dotting the Dragon Eyes Ritual, and Blessing for the Launch of the Dragon Boat.” Holding the rite, all the participants pray to the deity for his blessings, and hope the activity to be held “successfully, peacefully, and perfectly.”
The parade begins at Longshan Temple and finish at Lukang Tianhou Temple, where they invite the Water Deity to the contest ground by Fulu River. Then, they dot the eyes of the dragon boats before launching them onto the river.
International Dragon Boat Race
About a decade ago, a contest was held on Fulu River, it moved to Jian Duct at Changhua Coast because of a construction project there. Much anticipated by local people, the contest will return back to Fulu River last year.
In this year, there will be more than one hundred international teams participating in this contest. Promised to be very exciting, in this international exchange, all the international participants will have the chances to learn more about the folklore, culture, and sports in Lukang.
A Tour to the Dragon Boat Festival
On that day, a series of activities, including temple fairs, standing eggs, literary and art exhibitions and performances, folk activities, and more will be held at the Uni-Resort, Wenwu Temple, Lukang Old Street, Assembly Hall, and more. In addition, there are four major museums – the Chang Bing Show Chwan Health Park, Taiwan Glass Gallery, “Ribbon King”Ribbon Culture Factory, and BRAND’s Health Museum at Changhua Coastal Industrial Park. During the Dragon Boat Festival holiday these museums always prepare exciting programs for visitor. In addition, in the “Crafts exhibition” held in Lukang Creative Cultural Industry Gallery at Uni-Resort, there will be the exhibitions of woodcarving, lacquerwares, pottery crafts, lanterns art, tin crafts, embroidery art, and more. These fine arts and crafts are displayed in the manner of a banquet, offering visitors a refined feast of arts and crafts.