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Over 400 boats attend thousand-year-old tradition

Hundreds of boats from nearby villages and town have gathered for the opening of the Qintong Boat Festival in the eastern Chinese city Taizhou, Jiangsu province.

With a history dating back more than 1,000 years, the event this year has attracted some 400 colorfully-decorated vessels and more than 10,000 participants. The event’s highlights include dragon boat racing, theatrical performances, dragon and lion dances and other folk displays staged on board the boats.

The festival first began in the Song Dynasty (AD 420-479), and is now an important event on the cultural calendar for the entire eastern China region. About 300,000 visitors attend every year. And in 2008, the festival was listed as a state-level intangible cultural heritage.