While everyone prepares for July 4 next week, there’s another cultural holiday you may want to attend this weekend: the Cleburne Dragon Boat Festival. This Chinese holiday occurs around the summer solstice each year, specifically on the fifth month of the fifth day of the lunisolar calendar, making it a moveable holiday. The origins of the holiday are cloaked in stories invented by Confucian scholars, but it seems to go back to China’s pagan days, when a dragon king was worshiped with boat races and sacrifices of food. The dragon king represents the masculine yang side of Chinese philosophy.
This weekend, on Lake Pat Cleburne, Hong Kong-style dragon boats will race with teams of rowers, with new races starting every 20 minutes. Between those, you can take in cultural performances and live music, as well as buy food from vendors on hand. In some parts of the Chinese-speaking world, this festival is known as the Dumpling Festival, so if anyone’s offering bao, pot stickers, wontons, or anything of that nature, snap it up.
The Cleburne Dragon Boat Festival is Sat-Sun at Lake Pat Cleburne, Cleburne. Admission is free. Call 310-433-9626