Dragon boats will bring splashes of colour and fiery competition to the Royal Docks for the 20th anniversary of the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival.
Competitors will battle it out on boats at London Regatta Centre in what will be a day-long showcase of Chinese culture on June 28.
Here are five things you need to know about the eye-catching event.
1. It’s the 20th event of its kind so organisers are trying to make sure it’s the most prestigious yet. The first dragon boat festival in Docklands was organised as a school fundraiser. London Chinatown Lions Club now team up with London Chinatown Chinese Community Centre and the Hong Kong Executives Club to organise the extravaganza, which is supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.
2. More than 40 club, corporate and amateur teams will battle it out for four cups and top honours. A 10,000 strong crowd is expected to descend on Docklands.
3. It will be an early start for teams on race day, with registration at 8.30am. Competition action begins at 10am with the finals from 5.30pm. Trophy presentations will follow. Spectators can also enjoy a host of entertainment throughout the day.
4. In addition to the sporting action, the festival doubles as a celebration of Chinese culture. A south east Asia food festival, martial arts displays and lion dancing will be part of the London Regatta event while in Canary Wharf, Royal China will offers diners the chance to try Zongzi. a traditional dish is stuffed full of rice, with fillings such as mushrooms and salted duck eggs wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.
5. Dragon boat racing has its roots in ancient southern central China along the banks of the Yangtze River around 2,500 years ago - at around the same time as the Olympic Games began in Greece. Nowadays it is one of the most popular watersports in China.
Go to dragonboatfestival.co.u.