Over time, this ancient event has transformed from a deadly sport intertwined with religious and ritualistic principles into a purely competitive, non-fatal sport that in 2007, was made a national holiday in China as part of Dueng Ngas. Today exists an International Dragon Boat Federation boasting over 20 million members, and is a recognized member of the General Association of Sports Federation. Dragon boat Racing has also become a popular competitive and recreational sport in Canada, Europe, the United States, and Australia.
People apparently really enjoy coming together for the sole purpose of Dragon Boat racing, and the ancient event has turned into a sport recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia. It is essentially the same as rowing teams throughout the United States, however in Dragon Boat racing, the participants take pride in the building of their craft. Not all, but many individual teams still build their craft from scratch in a form very reminiscent to the old days. They take time to decorate and paint the Dragon head located on the bow of the craft that supposedly leads them to victory. The allure of this sport is not only the rich historical implications, but also the intense training and physical fitness it takes to be a solid competitor, as well as the necessary teamwork and camaraderie it requires to be effective as a unit.
See the official International Dragon Boat Federation website- http://www.idbf.org/