I had read somewhere that the Lotus Festival at the Echo Park lake this year was supposed to celebrate Mongolian culture. Well, it started off with a big bang of Chinese culture. The dragon boats were in the lake preparing to be blessed by two Buddhist monks in brilliant orange robes. I later learned that almost any group of eight people–4 women and 4 men–can form a team and enter the dragon boat races. Some teams are corporate. Some are representatives of non-profits. All were having a very fun time. Check with the Lotus Festival’s Facebook page if you are interested in paddling a Dragon boat next year.
The dragon boats, BTW, are simply two metal row boats that have been affixed to each other stern-to-stern. The dragon head is attached to the prow of one boat; the dragon tail to the prow of the other boat, which is facing the opposite direction. Oh, the boats have been painted to represent dragon ‘scales’.
The dragon boat races were continuing when I heard the familiar thrum of a drum and the clash of cymbals — the sound that announces that the Lion Dancers are starting to perform. The crowd included 4 young ladies who are vying for the title of Miss Young Philippines USA title.
And yes. The lotus were in bloom. So exquisitely beautiful they seem unreal.