New Silk Road International Dragon Boat Festival opened on Saturday in Trakai, a famous lake resort over 30 km west of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
Participants are rowing boats during the New Silk Road International Dragon Boat Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 13, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
A total of 13 teams from China, Lithuania, Germany, Poland and Latvia are competing in a dragon boat race, the key part of the two-day festival in the presence of hundreds of local residents, visitors and Chinese nationals in Lithuania.
"Bearing China's long history and splendid cultural heritage, dragon boat racing is increasingly appealing to more and more people around the world," said Chinese Ambassador to Lithuania Shen Zhifei, expressing the hope that the festival will help promote cultural exchanges, and deepen the friendship among peoples along the Silk Road routes.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China. The festival is also dedicated to the anniversary's celebrations, Shen added.
Lithuanian Vice Minister of Education, Science and Sports Kornelija Tiesnsyte told Xinhua that sports is a cross-culture phenomenon, which allows people to see different cultures while compete.
"Dragon boat racing is a sport which unites people, helps build the team to cooperate and follow the rules. It is really a good example for everyone," the vice minister added.
Hosted by Lithuanian Dragon Boat Federation and co-sponsored by China Dragon Boat Association, this is the first time that Lithuania has an event like this.
"We are a combined team from Lithuania and Poland and we are huge fans of this sport. We love paddling and we always have strong desire to win," Olga, a member of the joint dragon boat racing team, told Xinhua.
Dragon boat racing, which dates back 2,000 years and originated in southern China, is a traditional competitive water sport. During the race, teams of some 20 paddlers paddle furiously to the beat of a drum, offering spectators great excitement.