Downham Market Water Festival to return for tenth year

Downham Market water frestival: Picture: submitted

Downham Market water frestival: Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

A west Norfolk town is set to host its tenth annual celebration of a dragon-inspired legend.

Downham Market Water Festival will return with its spectacular Dragon Boat racing on the River Great Ouse relief channel.

The Chinese festival has an ancient history and is a re-enactment of a tragic supposed event that took place more than 2000 years ago in the kingdom of Chu.

Legend has it that despairing warrior poet, Qu Yuan, threw himself into the Mi Lo River. Local fishermen rowed out to save the drowning poet and tried to rescue him from vicious fish by beating the water with their paddles. But their attempts failed and every year in Hong Kong a Tuen Ng - or Dragon Boat - festival is held as a mark of respect for the fishermen's efforts and to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan.

Thousands of spectators are expected to visit the Downham event this Sunday which organisers claim this year will be bigger and better.

Town mayor Marion Ross said: 'It's going to be a sunny weekend, the year before last was torrential rain all day but we still did it. I'm always surprised just how many people the event attracts.'

For further information and details of how to become a participating team call 01366 387770 or

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