Colorful Dragon Boat Festival on Gentle Waves: Confucius Institute at University of Aveiro Holds Dragon Boat Cruise Festival

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Aveiro, Portugal [Time]    2018-06-25 15:48:56 
 

On June 16th, local time, the Dragon Boat Cruise Festival held by the Confucius Institute at the University of Aveiro opened in this city on water. Luís Miguel Capão Filipe, Head of the Cultural Department of Aveiro City Hall, Alexandra Queirós, Vice Rector of the University of Aveiro, Han Xiaoyan, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Portugal, and Zhou Gaoyu, First Secretary of Education Office for Cultural Affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Portugal, attended this event.


From left to right: Han Xiaoyan, Alexandra Queirós, and Luís Miguel Capão Filipe

Located along the northern central coastal area, Aveiro is known as the “Venice of Portugal” with an approximately 2-kilometer-long waterway. As the Dragon Boat Festival is approaching, the Confucius Institute worked with Aveiro City Hall to present local people a special Dragon Boat Cruise Festival that combined tradition and innovation.

Before the launching ceremony of the Cruise Festival, the Confucius Institute set up three experience zones with different themes. In the zone of “First Look on Dragon Boat Festival”, local people learned the origin and customs of this festival and the stories of Qu Yuan, a poet who is said to be related to the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival. In the zone of “Dragon Boat Festival at Fingertips”, they tried plaiting five-colored ropes, wrapping up Zongzi, standing an egg on its end, and making pouches. In the “Culture on Display” zone, people participated in a variety of activities such as Chinese calligraphy, tea-making, martial arts, and bamboo dance. Getting into the joyous holiday spirit, local citizens came to know more about the Dragon Boat Festival through these diversified cultural activities.


The opening performance by the martial arts team


Children dressing in Hanfu


Experiencing the bamboo dance


A child playing with pouches


Tasting Zongzi

To celebrate the festival, the Confucius Institute at the University of Aveiro invited Lv Xiaopeng, a folk music teacher, to sing “Love Song of Kangding” and “Flying Song for Mother Earth”, whose sonorous and beautiful singing won applause from the audience. Students from the teaching spot in Freguesia de Aradas sang a classic song named “The Moon Represents My Heart”, receiving plaudits from the audience. The Confucius Institute also placed two big red drums on the spot, attracting many children, who picked up the drumsticks one after another and accompanied the performers on folk music amid the crowd’s cheers.


Students from the Chinese Classroom in Freguesia de Aradas singing “The Moon Represents My Heart”

The cruise of dragon boats kicked off in the afterglow. Members of the alumni association of the Confucius Institute were dressed in T-shirts of 9 colors. They boarded the dragon boats amid inspiring drumbeats and put up striking banners of the Confucius Institute. Loaded with joy and happiness, the nine boats decorated with Chinese dragons sailed off the shore.


The dragon boat of the Confucius Institute at the University of Aveiro


The dragon boat of the Confucius Institute at the University of Aveiro

People in the “flagship” of the dragon boat team beat the gongs, marking the beginning of the cruise. They also waved colorful inflatable sticks, drawing the attention of the crowd from the shore. Passers-by on the shore and players on the boat waved to each other in a festive atmosphere. Accompanied by the drumbeats, colorful balloons flew upwards from the nine dragon boats.


Dragon boat in the waterway


A bright dragon boat in the waterway

This activity, integrating the essence of Chinese dragon boats with that of Aveiro’s Moliceiro boat, offered a subtle blend of Chinese culture and western aesthetic interest.


Staff of the Confucius Institute interviewed by Radio and Television of Portugal (RTP)

After the event, RTP interviewed the staff of the Confucius Institute. RTP, Diário de Notícias, Diário de Aveiro, Xinhua News Agency and other mainstream media both at home and abroad covered this wonderful event.