Elderly man carries on 1,000-year old dragon boat craft
Updated: 2016-06-08 11:19
The people of Daoxian, in central China's Hunan province, have been rowing dragon boats for 1,000 years. And the craft of carving their bows has been passed down through generations.
Ding Fushun, 68, is one of the local craftsmen who make bows for the dragon boats. He started learning the craft at the age of 16 and has sculptured nearly 80 dragon boat bows in over several decades.
The dragon boat bows in Daoxian boast special characteristics. There are four types of shapes, including the heads of a dragon, tiger, phoenix and kirin, all in bright colors and with bold, exaggerated designs.
A grand ceremony is held after a dragon boat bow's completion. The boat is then tested on the water.
Every year, people in Daoxian celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival on May 5 on the lunar calendar with a dragon boat race – as is the case in other areas of China. Hundreds of boats are seen flying on the rivers, with gongs and drums sounding across the skies and tens of thousands of spectators cheering loudly.
The Daozhou Dragon Boat Race was listed as a provincial intangible cultural heritage event in 2006.