Dragon Boat Festival!

The annual weekend Dragon Boat Festival in Long Beach was one of the largest dragon boat racing events in California, with more than 75 teams from all over the western U.S. Most boats had 18 people rowing, plus one person at the back steering, and a drummer in front setting the pace of the rowing.
The start of the race
A small Dragon Boat team
Exercising before the race
The Dragon Boat Festival is a major holiday in China with a long history. Over 2000 years ago Qu Yuan, a popular warrior poet, committed suicide in a local river to protest political corruption. People there searched for him in their boats but couldn’t save him. This annual boat festival in China began as a way to remember the attempt to rescue him.

In 1976 Hong Kong held the first International Dragon Boat Races to promote Hong Kong. This was the start of the modern sport of dragon boat racing, which now takes place in over 60 countries.
The team drummer
A close finish
This weekend’s Festival included an unbelievable demonstration of face-changing ("biàn lian" in Chinese), an important characteristic of Chinese Sichuan opera. The man doing the demonstration had at least 10 different face masks, which he could change almost instantly by simply moving his head slightly. The method is apparently very secret.
Chinese opera
There was lots of other good entertainment, but this young Chinese woman balancing three real eggs was especially amazing.
Balancing three real eggs
The Pink Dragons team