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Dragon Boat Festival Eye Dotting and River Blessing Ceremony - Pray for event success and pandemic extinguished!

The 2020 Taipei Dragon Boat Championships will begin on June 25 & 26 as scheduled. This morning (6th), a traditional ceremony of invoking the deities, eye-dotting and river blessing ceremony was held at the Quyuan Temple of Zhoumei village, the only temple in Taiwan that worships Qu Yuan as the main deity. Led by the Mayor of Taipei City Ko Wen-je as chief priest, Commissioner Li, Tzai-Li of Taipei City Government Department of Sports, the dragon boat competition representative teams and guests joined in the worship ceremony. Following ancient rituals, they prayed to the deities for the successful and safe completion of this year’s Taipei Dragon Boat Championships.
Carried out according to ancient Taoist rituals, the blessing ceremony was grand but simple. It kicked off with joyous and festive dragon and lion dances, resounding drums and the folk art performance, Santaizi. Teams of all ages, such as the Zhoumei Heritage Dragon Boat Team, the Taipei Xingfufa Baseball Team, the Olympic Friendship Team, the Dajia Dragon Boat Team, the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Dragon Boat Association, were invited to participate in the traditional ceremony. The gathering of teams from different backgrounds and generations symbolizes the shared guardianship and heritage of the traditional dragon boat culture. At the same time, the competitors also painted and wore statement headband symbolizing "fighting for each other" to demonstrate Taipei's vitality and combat capability.
After the ceremony, the main priest and participating teams moved on to the dragon boat eye-dotting venue at Zhoumei Wharf to begin the eye-dotting and river blessing ceremony. Taipei City Mayor Ke and guests successfully dotted the eyes of six dragon boats, which were then launched into the water for the blessing ceremony. Representatives of the dragon boat teams then rowed from Zhoumei Wharf to Dajia Dragon Boat Wharf for a successful beginning of the upcoming 2020 Taipei Dragon Boat Championships.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Taiwan has slowed down, the Department of Sports continues to maintain rigorous implementation of high pandemic prevention standard for the dragon boat training and competition. Activities in today's dragon boat eye-dotting ceremony were conducted in accordance with the pandemic prevention measures set out by the Central Epidemic Command Center. Participants in the rituals maintained safe social distancing, and alcohol disinfectant was provided at the site. Participants were reminded to wear masks when they couldn’t maintain a safe social distancing.
This year's Taipei Dragon Boat Championships will not be open to live audience. Instead, it will be broadcasted online and on TV for the public to view in their homes. Competitors are also urged to cooperate with event regulations. Let us fight for each other during this mid-summer.