The rhythm of Dragon Boats has come alive on the waters of False Creek. It is the 25th anniversary for the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. This year's event will be held the 21st to the 23rd of June and it is one of Vancouver''s prestiges events. The races take place in False Creek and finish at Science World.
The races were first introduced during Expo 86. A couple of years later interest was rekindled and the popularity of the races increased rapidly. Now the Vancouver festival is the largest outside of Asia and draws a huge international following.
The priest and members of the Evergreen Taoist Church are invited to conduct the ancient ritual to begin the festival. The climax ceremony is the dotting of the eyes. This awakens the dragons that sleep in the mountains and travel to the water for the races. Guest dignitaries assist by dipping brushes in pots of red cinnabar paint and dabbing the eyes on the boats' dragon heads.