Doumen dragon boats absent this year for safety sake
Zhuhai's Doumen Dragon Boat Cultural Festival has been called off in compliance with a ban on mass gatherings in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, it was announced on April 24.
The festival, which involves race teams from Hong Kong, Macao, and other Greater Bay Area cities, requires a long time for administrative preparedness. For instance, team invitations would have been made by now if the event were to be held in May or June.
Paddlers compete at last year's event [Photo by Zeng Yao / Zhujiang Evening Post]
Large public gatherings, however, are still banned in accordance with instructions of the Zhuhai Command Center for COVID-19 Prevention & Control, according to Fan Qing, director of the Doumen District Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism & Sports Bureau.
The dragon boat race dates back in Zhuhai to the 1990s and has grown in participation and influence since then. It has especially promoted traditional dragon boat culture and become a draw for cultural and sports cooperation and folk exchanges in the Greater Bay Area.
Last year's event attracted 49 teams from the Greater Bay Area, including a record seven from Hong Kong and Macao. They competed furiously before tens of thousands of spectators along the Huangyang River. Even renowned Hong Kong singer Cally Kwong returned to Doumen, her hometown, to support the event.