Public Announcement: Following the recent announcement of her Majesty the Queen’s passing.
Please await official correspondence from our team regarding any upcoming events between 9th – 19th September.

History of Dragon Boat Racing

Dragonboats are human-powered canoe like vessels; they were first made in the southern Guangdong Province in China.

What is a dragon boat?

Dragon boats are human-powered canoe like vessels; they were first made in the southern Guangdong Province in China. A dragon boat comes in various sizes, however the most popular boats in the UK are the ones with teams made up of 10 paddlers and 1 drummer (30”) or 20 paddlers and 1 drummer (40”). On our racing events we also have a professionally trained member of staff who steers the boats (known as a helmsman). A traditional dragon boat is made from wood, fiberglass and other lightweight materials.

NewWave boats are rigged with ancient looking heads and tails, giving them that authentic look. All of our boats come in various colours, adding to the event look and experience.

dragon boat history

History of Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon Boat Racing originated in China and its history goes back more than 2000 years. The first people to participate were superstitious Chinese villagers who celebrated the 5th day of the 5th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Dragon boating was held to avert misfortune and encourage rains for prosperity. The main object of their worship was the dragon, hence the name ‘dragon boat racing’.

The story of dragon boats evolved over the years and it involved the famous poet Qu Yuan who threw himself in the Miluo River after being framed and realising that his motherland has been damaged. He felt so much upset and sorrow about his country that on lunar May fifth he ended his life (If you want to read more about Qu Yuan’s story and his death click here.  This tragic event transformed into a festival where people paddled boats to drive fishes away and fed the water creatures with Zongzi (Chinese rice dish wrapped in bamboo leaves) so that Qu Yuan’s body would not become their dinner. The legend of Qu Yuan became a well-known story in China and other Asian countries and now the Dragon Boat Festivals are a popular sport event enjoyed in all parts of the world.

   dragonboat dragon boat

Dragon Boat Racing Events

NewWave Events specialises in charity dragon boat racing, corporate dragon boat events and team building events which can combined with other on land activities. We can offer dragon boating as part of a multi-activity day or as a stand-alone event. We can also suggest the best venue and food options for you so give us a call on 01536 674 748 or email

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