Traditional Tianhe dragon boat culture shines at Winter Olympics Updated: February 23, 2022

With the conclusion of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Shipai villagers of Tianhe district welcomed back their dragon head on Feb 20 that shone at the opening ceremony of the Games.

The dragon head, with strong and unique Lingnan charms, jumped out of the water with a splash. It was a part of the three-minute countdown video that depicted the changes of the year at the opening ceremony. It is regarded as a symbol of Shipai village's dragon boat culture going to the world.

Lingnan refers to Guangdong and the nearby provinces in southeastern China.


The Shipai dragon head that appeared in the three-minute countdown video at the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. [Photo/WeChat account: tianhefabu]

In Shipai, the dragon boat has been passed on from generation to generation, with every generation designing a new dragon head.

The latest head was designed in 2021 by Zhang Weichao, inheritor of Guangzhou's dragon heads and tails making craft.

"Every dragon head represents the culture and spirits of every village. It must be unique," said Zhang. "I had communicated with people who know the history of Shipai village several times."

"The design of the new-generation dragon head focuses on expressing the Shipai dragon boat culture with cultural confidence," said Chi Jinling, chairman of Shipai Sanjun Enterprise Group. "That's probably why it was chosen for the Winter Olympics."