Here be dragons . . . and dancing, Saint Paul

This weekend it is possible to visit Asia without ever leaving Saint Paul simply by attending the local Dragon Festival.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Dragons and dancing in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Although the festival’s centerpiece are the Chinese dragon boat races, this is really a pan-Asian festival with bits of culture from across Asia and the Pacific.

The dragon dance

Saint Paul’s Dragon Festival opens with the awakening of the dragon in an energetic dance.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

The opening ceremony concludes with the eyes of the dragon being dabbed with red.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Let the festivities begin!

The dragon boats practice for the race

The dragon boat races aren’t until tomorrow, but today is practice day and the steady beat of the drum floats across the water as the teams work to perfect their technique.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Food plain and fancy

Of course, there is food available, both the kind you eat and the kind you just look at because it has been carved into such lovely designs.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Martial arts on display

Martial arts demonstrations allow young practitioners to show off their skill.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Dances from the other side of the world

There is also dancing, lots of dancing, from all across Asia and the South Pacific.

First up are some hula dances from Polynesia.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

There are also dances from Japan.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

Dance from Burma are also performed.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

India has a huge range of cultures and, thus, a wide variety of dances.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

The Indian dancers are my favorite, perhaps in part because a colleague’s daughters perform after the younger children have finished.

I’m expecting classical Indian dance, but instead they perform a rollicking Punjabi dance. It is fun to watch, made more so by the obvious joy the girls take in it.

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

St Paul Minnesota dragon boat races - www.ExplorationVacation.net

There is a lot more to see and do here, but this seems like a lovely way to end my short visit to the cultures of Asia and the Pacific.

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2 thoughts on “Here be dragons . . . and dancing, Saint Paul”

  1. Does this mean that we should skip another trip to Asia and just go to
    MSP instead? – TTG fans in CA

  2. Dear TTG fans in CA,
    Absolutely not! It means you should come here to experience a little transplanted Asian culture and then we should go to LA to do the same and then we should all head to Asia for the real thing!

Your turn!