Eye-dotting the Paddlers for Life Windermere dragons in 2020

Eye-dotting is ‘awakening our dragons’ to gain their protection.

Part of the tradition of Chinese dragon boating festivals centres on the dragon heads of the dragon boats.

Its origins are in this tradition told here.

This year the team experienced the traditional painting of the dragons eyes remotely via Zoom video conference with just a small number of paddlers socially distancing on the shore of Windermere in an eye-dotting organised and led by Sara. Sara, Jill and Ruth dotted the eyes of our three dragons Artemis Phyllis, Mary at Low Wood and Lucy.


Three dragon boat heads have their eye pupils added in ‘lucky’ red.

Artemis Phyllis has her eyes dotted by Sara.

Jill ‘dots the eyes’ of Mary.

Ruth ‘dots the eyes’ of Lucy at Low Wood.


‘Hell money’ was burnt,


buckwheat was thrown on the water,


and the dragons were awakened with the splashing of paddles on the waters of Windermere.

Online, Louisa told of the origins of the eye-dotting, Rowena told of it’s traditions and Roz spoke of the dragons from a helm’s perspective.

We finished with a ‘flowers on the water’ ceremony with words from Barbara (who decorated our dragon heads with Sara and Paul) and June and Peter also spoke.

It was a gorgeous evening for the lucky few at Low Wood on the edge of Windermere.


1 Reply to "Eye-dotting the Paddlers for Life Windermere dragons in 2020"

  • comment-avatar
    Sandra Harrison
    June 28, 2020 (8:51 am)

    A stunning evening captured perfectly. Sara should be on the BBC. The contributions were so personal, from Peter, Barbara and Roz. Very moving + special. Such a great job. Camera angles for the eye dotting and Barbara’s decorating of the heads were incredible. Absolutely splendid! A demonstration of the teamwork which keeps Paddlers for Life ticking along within the current limitations. Well done team πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ’πŸ‰πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜Ž

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