The highlight of the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Tuen Ng Festival, on June 22, 2023, are the races that will be held across the city. These events are seen as the culmination of multiple practices meant to drive away evil energy and invite clean energy into one’s life.

We bring you a list of races that you can watch to mark the occasion. While most of the races are on the day of the festival, which is a Thursday, some others are on the weekend preceding it or following it.

Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races

This two-day event, which is back after a four-year hiatus, will feature local and international teams who will battle it out for the International Open Grand Championship, the International Championship, the 18 Districts Trophy, and the Fancy Dress Competition.

Selected teams who participate in the Macao International Dragon Boat Races on June 22 and the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races will contend for the first Hong Kong-Macao Trophy on June 25. Teams from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau region will also compete for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Championship on the same day.

  • When: Saturday, June 24-Sunday, June 25
  • Where: Victoria Harbour (East Tsim Sha Tsui to the Avenue of Stars)
  • Distance: 500 metres
  • Time: 8 am onwards

Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships 2023

This popular tourist destination is also a hub of activity during the Dragon Boat Festival, when teams from around the world compete in the races held here. Paddlers up the ante by wearing colourful wigs and face paint in the hope of bagging the Most Outstanding Outfit Award.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Stanley Main Beach
  • Distance: 270 metres
  • Time: 8am-5pm

Dragon Boat Water Parade Of Tai O & Dragon Boat Races

Every year during the Dragon Boat Festival, three fishermen’s associations in Tai O – Pa Teng Hong, Sin Yu Hong, and Hop Sum Tong – organise the Dragon Boat Water Parade. The event, also known as the Deities Parade, was recognised on China’s third national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011. Deity statues from four temples in Tai O are loaded on small boats towed by three dragon boats through the water channels of the village. Dragon Boat Races are also held during this day.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Tai O Creek and Pier (Dragon Boat Parade), Tai O Promenade (Dragon Boat Races)
  • Time: 7am-2pm (Dragon Boat Parade), 10am-2pm (Dragon Boat Races)
See also
All You Need to Know About Dragon Boat Festival: The Meaning Behind Races & Where To Watch Them In 2023

Aberdeen Dragon Boat Race 2023

This event has been held for more than 100 years and typically features long dragon boats, as opposed to the small and standard varieties. These boats are 90 feet long, with 48 paddlers seated in rows of two, making them twice as long as the boats used in most other races.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Aberdeen Promenade/Aberdeen West Typhoon Shelter
  • Distance: 400 metres
  • Time: 8.30 am-4pm

Sha Tin Dragon Boat Race

This half-day event is quite popular in the New Territories, where it has been held annually for the past 30 years. The highlight is the phoenix race, which only comprises female paddlers.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Shing Mun River (Banyan Bridge-Sha Yin Bridge)
  • Distance: 300 metres, 500 metres
  • Time: 8am-1pm

Sai Kung Tuen Ng Festival 2023

Come for the races, and stay for the carnival! The day will begin with standard boat races, which will end in the afternoon. After that, there will be a carnival with game stalls that everyone can try their hand at.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Sai Kung Waterfront Promenade (races), Tin Hau Temple (carnival)
  • Distance: 400 metres
  • Time: 8am-1.30pm (races), 2pm-5pm (carnival)

2023 Eastern District Dragon Boat Race

This annual event held in Chai Wan is scheduled for the Sunday before the Tuen Ng Festival. More than 60 teams will compete in standard boats and long boats during the races.

  • When: Sunday, June 18
  • Where: Chai Wan Cargo Handling Basin
  • Distance: 350 metres
  • Time: 8am-5pm
See also
The Cultural Guide To Kwan Tai's Birthday, Chinese God Of War

2023 Tai Po Dragon Boat Race

This half-day event will see participants compete in standard boats and small boats, and is held at a scenic location in the New Territories.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Tai Po Waterfront Park
  • Distance: 500 metres
  • When: 8.30am-1pm

2023 Tuen Mun Dragon Boat Race

If you want to spend your day in the northwestern part of the New Territories, head to Tuen Mun. The races here are a half-day affair and will see paddlers in standard boats and small boats.

  • When: Thursday, June 22
  • Where: Castle Peak Bay Typhoon Shelter
  • Distance: 400 metres
  • When: 9am-1pm

Header image credits: Aberdeen Dragon Boat via Facebook

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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