The annual Hakka Dragon Boat races and Parkinson multicultural festival kicked off in Forest Lake on Sunday June 5 and saw the Forest Lake Runners triumphantly win 3rd place.
Kicking off at 9 am till 2:30 pm at the Lake Parklands in Forest Lake, the day saw locals enjoy the competitive boat racing, a number of food stalls, live entertainment and cultural performances.
Forest Lake Runner rower Nayda Hernandez said she was proud of the team’s performance on the day, placing 3rd overall.
“The FLR came 2nd, 1st and 3rd in our heats, allowing us to qualify for the finals,” Mrs Hernandez said.
“Overall we achieved third on the day despite this being our first time rowing and competing in the Dragon Boat race.”
St John’s Anglican College also competed in the rowing race
“They made everyone proud by rating well on the competition list,” Mrs Hernandez said.
Mrs Hernandez wants to thank everyone involved with the day from the runners, caterers, attendees and organisers.
“Thanks to the hard work of the captains, Simple Bliss Cafe owners and proud locals, Shirley and Eric and everyone on the team,” she said.
“Thank you to the Hakka Association of Queensland for a wonderful event.
“Especially Florance Day and Jackie Chiang, President of the Hakka Association of Queensland.”
The Dragon Boat festival is an annual Chinese holiday which commemorates the 2000 year old story of the statesmen and poet Chu Yuan who in the 3rd century, in protest against a corrupt kingdom, threw himself into the Mi Lo River in despair.
Local village members tried to stop his body from being eaten by dangerous fish and water dragons so they beat drums and threw rice dumplings into the water.
This has turned into a tradition today where rice dumplings (Zongzi) are eaten to symbolise the offerings made to Chu Yuan. The dragon boat races are symbolic of culture and spirit.