On June 23rd at about 5pm, some of Hathian’s citizens came across a hideous sight and a beautiful one, a beauty and the beast of sorts while going about their daily activities. A large Demon and a pretty girl giving out fliers for the Dragon Boat Festival! While the Demon reminded the citizen’s of how miserable the festival would be it didn’t stop them, for at 6pm the people started pouring into the Shen Gallery of Fine Art in Vodou!
As the show began, the festival comers discovered that in order for the festival to begin, someone had to be destroyed or the festival would be doomed. It was all part of an act mind you, a mini play before the festival began, but the crowd loved it! Before they all knew it the Demon jumped from the stage and demanded a champion in their midst! Who would destroy the demon to start the festival? One young man was volunteered to do that very task by his girlfriends father, reluctantly we might add, but defeated the demon all the same, saving the festival!
Once the festival began it was poetry and food and drinks for the next hour, starting off the readings with some of the poetry of Qu Yuan, believed to be the historical reason for the Dragon Boat festival. Read by the gallery director herself, Inara Indigo began first in her native tongue in the original chinese wowing the crowd, then translated each verse proving once again that the poetry of Qu Yuan was no match for the lyrical beauty of a soft enchanting reciter. Many others had their chance to go up and read a poem or two or one of their own, one in particular read one of her own poems to the amazement of the crowd.
One of the more rediculous events at the festival this year was the Dragon Boat Street Race where participants had to wear the cardboard dragon boats around their waists and doing a silly walk, had to race into town and circle the Taco Stand and race back to Vodou to be declared the winner! Some of you might have seen them and were wondering what the bleep was going on, well, now you know! First prize incidentally went to the same young man that clobbered the snot out of the Demon earlier in the night riding in the Black Dragon Boat, Second place going to the rider of the Green Dragon Boat. It was a hilarious spectacle that most of the night will soon not forget! Laughter and jokes and a demand for the same race to occur next year made it a great success! Congrats to our winners!
And finally, no festival or event would be complete without a strange and interesting twist at the end when one of our cities EMTs showed up with her new Rookie and after introductions all around in walked a Bride and Groom! Most of the spectators of the festival had no idea what was going on outside as the female EMT apparently grabbed the bride and groom by the ears to lecture them then came right in and sang a lovely song to them both in their honor! A fitting gesture and the two honored guests were a good final symbol for the festival’s spirit, that evil is always trumped by good, even in times of political strife and corrupt governments, as the festivals history tells us, that the famous poet Qu Yuan, who when overcome and disgusted in his states corrupt government after falsely being accused of treason and banished, took a big rock and threw himself into the waters of Mi Luo River and drowned. Now each year, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month crews of paddlers re-enact that frantic rush to save Qu Yuan, by powering long narrow boats with the ferocious heads of dragons mounted on the prow through the water, to the frenzied, rhythmic beating of drums, giving us the Dragon Boat Festival.
On a final note, there is a lesson to be learned even here in Hathian where we are surrounded by corruption at every turn. Savor the little things, enjoy your Brandy, or whatever you drink, and love your women [and men], and stand up to tyranny and corruption – for if you don’t who will? We at the Shen Gallery of Fine Art want to thank all of you that made the time to attend the event!