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Dragon Boat Festival

Held on the Yarra River as part of Moomba, this race re-enacts a Chinese legend about the death of a poet who threw himself into a river to protest against corruption. Fishermen took to the river in their boats, using oars, gongs and food in an effort to distract fish from the body. First held in 1985, the Melbourne event attracts local and international competitors. Each decorated boat contains a team of 20 paddlers, a steersman and drummer. In 1993 concerns over safety arose when two Malaysian team members drowned after their boat capsized.

Sally Murdoch