Lianzhou to hold a Tanka culture carnival
The first Zhuhai (Lianzhou) Farm Boat-themed Carnival will meet the public in Doumen's Lianzhou Town on June 17, presenting a cultural feast that highlights the Tanka culture.
The traditional farm boats, locally known as the "clam boats," hold unique memories for the people living in this Doumen water town, as boats were once the primary tool for daily production, transportation, and work here.
According to local historical records, boats have a history of hundreds of years in Lianzhou. Farm boat racing festivities, which began in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), were originally a celebration organized by local farmers for good fishing fortune. It later became a custom that is still passed down to this day, and it is now on the list of municipal intangible cultural heritage items in Zhuhai.
Currently, 16 local teams representing villages in Lianzhou Town have been established and will go through a typical tug-of-war competition on the water at the event.
Farm boat race. [Photo courtesy WeChat account: meilidoumen]
Moreover, water cruises and performances featuring intangible cultural heritage items will be available during the carnival, such as water weddings, performers dressed up as the Eight Immortals crossing the "sea" on a 4-meter (5-yd) bamboo raft, as well as lion dances performed on boats.
Wooden boats loaded with distinctive Lianzhou agricultural products such as lychees, passion fruit, lotus flowers, and moon cakes will be sold that day, while more than 20 vendors will be selling high-quality Lianzhou specialties on a pedestrian street near the shore.