If you were wondering why the Empire State Building was lit up red and green last night, it's in honor of the 20th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival taking place at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. Yesterday's opening ceremonies kicked off the event, which runs through the end of the day today. There are musical events, arts and crafts tents and Kung Fu demonstrations, but the part most people come to see are the dragon boats themselves.

Dragon boats are traditionally made of teak, though the modern kinds used in races are often made of fiberglass. The long boats can hold a crew of anywhere between 22 and 50 people, with one drummer to synchronize the strokes. The festival commemorates the fifth moon of the lunar calendar, and "four days before the festival begins, the dragon boats are taken from their resting places and their heads and tails attached. They are then ritually blessed by a Buddhist monk and later brought to life before the races by having their eyes dotted in red paint."

The NY Championship Race happened yesterday, but today is the US Dragon Boat Open Championship Race. Check out the race schedule here.