An extract from the book “How to Ride a Dragon” best explains this ceremony.
"For the survivors of breast cancer the contradictions of winning and losing, living and dying, are played out in every dragon boat race.
They fight with their will and determination to win and at the end of the races they toss their pink flowers into the water remembering those who lost the battle for life. It is also done for those going through a reoccurrence of the disease.
At the moment that the flowers are tossed into the water, the paddlers are lost in the memory of the friends they have lost to breast cancer and friends who are battling it at the time.
The moment is a very real reminder of how vulnerable we all are.
Just as the race celebrates victory, health and life, the Pink Flower Ceremony honours the reality of loss, sickness and death."