Slideshow: Charlotte Asian Dragon Boat Festival
Thirty-seven teams competed for the top spot at the eighth annual dragon boat festival in Cornelius on Saturday. The teams consisted of up to 20 people and included three rounds of 200-meter races. Wells Fargo Aquabeasts (Team I) took home the top prize.
See the full results here.
According to legend, dragon boat racing started over 2,000 years ago in the southern provinces of China. It is one of the earliest known forms of boat racing and is a mythical celebration and symbol of Chinese culture and spirit. An officer, Qu Yuan, to the emperor of the Chu Kingdom, jumped into the Mei Lo (Mi Luo) River in despair and protest against government corruption.
Local fishermen raced out in their boats to save him. They beat drums and pounded their paddles on the river's waters and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the water dragons and keep them from eating from Yuan's body. (Source: The Charlotte Dragon Boat Association)