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China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

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China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

2024-05-19 16:36 Last Updated At:17:07

The awakening ceremony for a 592-year-old dragon boat, the oldest in the country, was held on a river in Foshan City of south China's Guangdong Province on Saturday, marking the official start of the region's dragon boat season.

The event began with a congratulatory message read by local elder Shao Juxi, inheritor of the Yanbu Old Dragon customs, at the Yanbu Community in Foshan's Nanhai District. The boat, Yanbu Old Dragon, was then moved from the riverbed to the water's surface and cleaned after resting for a year.

The 36.8-meter-long boat, constructed from belian wood, dates back to 1432. The boat was buried in the muddy riverbed because wooden dragon boats are prone to rot when kept in regular environments. In Guangdong, after the Dragon Boat Festival races, some boats are buried in the muddy riverbed and left there until the next year's festival to ensure their long-term preservation.

The locals unearthed the boat, observed worship to Hua Guang (an immortal in local folklore), and then sailed the boat along the rivers.

The highlight of the season is on the fifth and sixth days of the fifth lunar month (when the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated). The Yanbu Old Dragon will meet another old dragon boat named Renwei from Guangzhou City. Festivities will then continue for a whole month.

Locals consider dragon boats sacred and hold grand ceremonies when "lifting submerged dragon boats," a tradition passed down for centuries.

"I grew up with the old dragon (boat), and now I want to bring my son to experience this atmosphere and culture so it can be passed on to the next generation. We enjoyed it very much and felt very proud," said a local surnamed Lu.

The ceremony also attracted many tourists in the country.

"I come here to experience the vibe. It is so lively and joyful. Such grand awakening ceremony of a dragon boat is rarely seen in other places," said a tourist from Sichuan Province in southwest China.

The inheritor of the customs, also a type of intangible cultural heritage in China, said the dragon boat is a symbol of spirit of teamwork and unity.

"The dragon boat spirit embodies hard work and unity. We promote this spirit to people of Guangzhou and Foshan through the worship of Hua Guang, fostering mutual visits and comity, because we Chinese are descendants of the dragon," Shao said. During the dragon boat season, local vendors also introduce innovative cultural tourism experiences, integrating intangible cultural heritage with immersive activities, educational tours, and some creative products such as themed dolls, ornaments and shirts.

China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

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China to keep promoting UNSC resolution on weapons non-proliferation: spokeswoman

2024-06-26 01:35 Last Updated At:02:17

China will continue to carry forward the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1540 that prevents the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning on Tuesday.

Mao made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing when asked about the 4th Training Course of the 1540 Points of Contact in the Asia and Pacific Region which commenced in Beijing on Tuesday.

"This training course was jointly held by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, United Nations Security Council 1540 Committee and United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Representatives from 27 Asia-Pacific countries and 14 international organizations and institutions participated in the course. Resolution 1540 requires Member States to enhance export controls and other measures, fulfill the international obligations of non-proliferation and prevent non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; meanwhile it regulates that non-proliferation actions shall not damage Member States' legitimate right of peaceful use of science and technology," said Mao.

"This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1540. The training course takes stock of the past and envisions the future. China will continue to advance the Global Security Initiative, enhance cooperation with United Nations and other parties to carry forward the implementation of Resolution 1540 and support Asia-Pacific countries in capacity building to establish a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory international order of non-proliferation export control," she said.

China to keep promoting UNSC resolution on weapons non-proliferation: spokeswoman

China to keep promoting UNSC resolution on weapons non-proliferation: spokeswoman

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