Lake Phalen Park in St. Paul, Minnesota will come alive July 14 & 15 with two days of colorful, traditional dances and music to showcase the performance arts of Asia. Dances from the ceremonial to the theatrical and are as varied as the colors on the performers' authentic costumes.  Each Asian country has its own indelible sound even though the instruments are rather similar. From the mesmerizing sound of the Chinese flute to the energetic Taiko drumming, Asian music with its pentatonic melody sounds exotic.

Dragon Boat races are the signature feature of this annual event. These sleek, ornately designed boats are each 40-ft long and under 4-ft. in width. Each comes with a drum to provide the rhythm for the paddlers. The character of each boat is shown through its intricately designed head and tail representing the most venerated mythical beast in Chinese folklore--the dragon. The dragon is believed to be a benevolent creature with powers to bring rain (that guarantees good harvest) and the power to ward off illness.  They will be racing both Saturday and Sunday on Lake Phalen, visible from anywhere at the Dragon Festival.

Consider participating this year by forming a Dragon Boat team or go for a walk around the lake by joining the Dragon Festival do.®  walk on Saturday morning. 

More details available at www.dragonfestival.org

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

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