National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta

The National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta takes place near where National Harbor Blvd approaches the water. More information can be found at

Dragon Boating

Dragon boat racing originated over 2,000 years ago and embodies the story of love and service for one’s country. About 2,300 years ago, during the Warring States period, a well-respected poet and statesmen named Qu Yuan lived in the Chinese Kingdom of Chu and served the government with integrity as Minister of State. He was disturbed by the corruption he saw in the government and as a result of his pleas for reforms, was banished from the Kingdom.

For years, he wandered the countryside composing poems expressing his patriotism and love for the people. Either as an act of despair or an ultimate protest against the corrupt government, Qu Yuan threw himself into the Mei Lo River (in today's Hunan province) on the fifth day of the fifth month in the year 278 B.C. Qu Yuan opted to commit suicide rather than lose honor by serving a corrupt government.

After he jumped into the river with a large stone tied to himself, grief-stricken local fishermen who witnessed Qu Yuan's desperate act tried to save the patriotic poet. They sailed up and down the river to look for him and desperately thrashed the water with their oars and paddles to scare off the hungry fishes which might eat his body. To commemorate the patriotic man, the fishermen and rural town folks threw cooked rice dumplings wrapped in silk or banana leaves, called Zhong Zi, into the water in order to appease the spirits of the river on the anniversary of his death.

Now in modern times, paddlers thrash the water for speed at dragon boat races, held to commemorate the legend of Qu Yuan.



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  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be racing with DCDBC (DC Dragon Boat Club). Come to cheer for us.

    August 23, 2013

  • Shiao-Ke SK C.

    Feel free to drop by the UMUC tent--where I'm at--or explore some of the other teams, including two that are blind.

    August 23, 2013

  • Evelyn

    Hi Steven,
    Google National Harbor for site and parking. Best to park in a garage or at the open parking area next to McLoone's. On the street parking is limited. You can take a bus but there is no Metro. Fun option take Metro to Alexandria and take the water ferry over.

    August 22, 2013

  • William T.

    You can read the story on my column, Tales of the Dragon at Sorry, leaving for Miami, ETR 26 Aug.

    August 22, 2013

  • Steven

    Are there parking or public transportation is better????

    August 22, 2013

  • Shiao-Ke SK C.

    Feel free to organize a group visit--I'll be more than happy to make you event host (I plan to be racing that day and might not be able to handle running an event)

    August 22, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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