People in China and several other parts of Asia competed Friday in annual dragon boat races, a tradition with roots dating back more than 2,000 years. The dragon boats are built in the shape of war canoes and ornately carved and painted with dragon heads and tails. The largest boats are up to 12 meters (39 feet) long and carry a crew of 46 paddlers. In Hong Kong, competitors took part in the races in Aberdeen Harbor. Accompanied by the beat of the drums, the boats raced against each other to the finish line, where the winner received a victory flag. Afterward, competing teams used their paddles to splash water at each other, a way to share good fortune. The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and politician who is said to have drowned himself more than 2,000 years ago to protest against government corruption.