Dragon boat racing is said to have originated in South Central China over 2500 years ago. It is the basis for annual water rituals and festival celebrations and has continued since that day.
Today, dragon boat racing is among the fastest growing of team water sports, with tens of thousands of participants in various organizations and clubs around the world.
Most dragon boats are powered by a crew of 20 paddlers, facing the bow of the boat, one drummer at the front facing the paddlers and one steersperson at the rear of the boat.
Dragon boats vary in length and size from 10 to 50 paddlers.
Although a dragon boat is not a type of canoe, they are both paddle-craft rather than rowing-craft, and crew members paddle rather than "row". Dragon boat paddlers sit, crouch or stand facing forward in the direction of travel, similar to crews in other paddling craft. The dragon boat paddles are freely held.