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2023 UK Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

Since the Xinhua Chinese Association (XCA) introduced the first UK Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (UCDBF) at the Lowry Water Sports Centre in Salford in 2012, with 10 year continuous efforts, XCA has developed it into a very popular and well-known community event in Britain.

At the Opening Ceremony of the 8th UCDBF in 2022, Paul Dennett, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester and Mayor of Salford City, praised highly that this event has become the largest dragon boat race in Europe, and has made great contributions to enriching the cultural and sports life of Greater Manchester, promoting the multiculturalism inclusive society, as well as the Anglo-China friendship and civil exchanges. XCA is actively preparing for 2023UCDBF, and is very confident to hold the 9th Dragon Boat Festival more grandly and successfully on the basis of previous success.


XCA will host the 2023 UK Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (2023UCDBF) together with the Salford City Council (SCC) and the British Dragon Boat Racing Association (BDA). The joint strength will make the 2023UCDBF even more successful and influential.


The 2023 UCDBF will achieve the following aims:

  • Attract more British people and organisations to participate, in order to make the Event a landmark activity for Chinese communities to actively integrate into the mainstream society;

  • Contribute actively to the multiculturalism inclusive society;

  • Promote the Anglo-China people’s understanding and friendship, as well as the economic and trade development;

  • Become the main part of the celebration of the coronation of the UK new King in Chinese communities;

  • Provide platforms for institutions, organisations and enterprises to share their support to this community event and to exposes their information and products to the general public and potential customers.

Basics about
UK Chinese Dragon Boat Race

Dragon boat race is a team paddling sport of dragon boat racing. It's not a competition oriented event, any man and woman can enter the race, no experience required.

Dragon Boat Crew

Each team has 10 paddlers, 1 drummer and 1 steersman who is assigned by event organiser.
The pulsation of the drum beats produced by the drummer may be considered the “heartbeat” of the dragon boat. The drummer leads the paddlers throughout a race using the rhythmic drum beat to indicate the frequency and synchronicity of all the paddlers’ strokes (that is, the cadence, picking up or accelerating the pace, slowing the rate, etc.)


The paddlers sit facing forwards in the boat, and use a specific type of paddle which, (unlike rowing sweep, or scull), is not rigged to the racing water craft in any way. Therefore, Dragon boaters are paddlers not rowers or oarsmen/women.


The sweep, known also as the steersman, steers the dragon boat with a sweep oar rigged at the rear of the boat, generally on the left side. This is done by using the oar as a rudder, while the boat is moving, or by sweeping the stern of the boat sideways by pulling or pushing water with the oar as the boat is moving slowly or stationary.


Along with dragon boat race competitions, a variety of cultural activities will be held, including:

  • Dragon and lion dance;

  • Chinese and English song chorus, duet and solo;

  • Chinese folk dance includes solo and group dances;

  • Chinese folk instruments play famous Chinese and Western music;

  • Tai Chi, Kung Fu, etc, including interactive experience;

  • Calligraphy and painting display, including interactive experience, such as hands-on practice of "your name in Chinese";

  • Hand crafts for children and primary school students, such as paper-cut / folding;

  • Children's facial makeup, theme: green world, cute animals, Chinese opera characters (including Peking Opera);

  • Exhibition and consultation of traditional Chinese medicine;

  • Invite other ethnic cultural activities to participate, such as:

    • Southeast Asian Chinese song and dance

    • British song and dance

    • Morris dance / Irish dance;

    • Western instruments play Chinese music;

    • Local pop band singing, etc.


Introduce Chinese food culture and provide typical Dragon Boat Festival foods such as zongzi and other foods.

Fundraising for Charity

10% of the team entrying fee will be donated to the charity of Action for Children / Children in Need.

Please Offer Generous Support

We sincerely urge you to generously support this very popular community Event that is very much attractive and loved by the British people who are eagerly participated.

In return, XCA, SCC, BDA and all participants and viewers of 2023UCDBF will highly appreciate your kind support. Your logo and advertisement will be in the Event Brochure (A4) and poster(A1); website of XCA, SCC and BDA; 2023 UCDBF's dedicated website and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WeChat etca; as well as banners and other promotional media at the Event site. The name and logo of the Title Sponsor will be displayed on the race boats, the coloured flags around the Venue and other relevant prominent signs.

2023 UCDBF will be widely reported by the MediaCityUK including BBC, ITV, Channel 4&5, etc; Chinese media such as Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, People's Network, CCTV and European Phoenix Satellite TV.

You will also have the opportunity to communicate with distinguished VIPs at the Opening Ceremony on June 17th and the Celebration Party on June 19th 2023, to expand your contacts and business opportunities.

For more information, please contact: Dr Hanxin Yang, the Chair of XCA





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