Dragon boat racing has ancient roots in China and is believed to have originated more than 2,500 years ago on the rivers in south central China’s valleys.
In Chinese culture, the sun, like the dragon, represents masculine energy, while the moon, like the phoenix, represents feminine energy. The festivals are typically held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, though dates can vary by location.
Each boat consisted of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person paddling to be the first to cross the finish line. Events are held in dozens of countries across the world.
Note: This photo gallery is the first installment in a collaboration with students and faculty at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.