Dotting the eyes of the dragons, 2024

We gathered to ‘awaken’ our dragons by ‘dotting the eyes’.

We paint in the pupil of the eyes on the dragon boat heads. Traditionally, this awakens the dragons so they can provide paddlers with protection,

Irene led the ceremony explaining the traditions.

Philippa told the story of the poet Qu Yuan who is considered to be the origin of dragon boat traditions.

Part of the tradition is to throw buckwheat on the water to feed the fishes to prevent them from eating Qu Yuan who threw himself into the water. ‘Hell money’ is burnt to keep the ghosts of ancestors happy.

The dragon heads have their eyes ‘dotted’.

Paddlers ‘beat the waters’ with their paddles to frighten away the fish (evil spirits) that might eat QuYuan.

We also held a flower ceremony of remembrance. Pink flowers are thrown onto the water as paddlers remember those fellow paddlers and family members who can no longer be with us.

Paddlers had a lovely day for paddling.

We finished with a picnic on the beach as survivor paddlers acknowledged the support of family and friends who help in various roles on paddling sessions and behind the scenes.

Another lovely team day with Paddlers for Life Windermere.

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