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The Dragon Boat Festival in China

Views:324     Author:E-Top HK     Publish Time: 2021-06-13      Origin:Site

The Dragon Boat Festival In China

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar. The exact date varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. In 2014, it occurred on June 2; in 2021, it occurred on June 14, and in 2016, it falls on June 9. The festival was long marked as a cultural festival in China, the government, however, did not officially recognize Duanwu as a public holiday until 2008.


The focus of most celebrations involves eating zongzi (sticky rice/glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats. The sun is considered to be at its strongest around the time of summer solstice.

Dragon Boat Festival

Zongzi, is a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous/sticky rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo, reed, or other large flat leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. In the Western world, they are also known as rice dumplings, or sticky rice dumplings.


The official English name for the holiday, "Dragon Boat Festival," directly translates into two alternative Chinese names for the holiday, Lóngchuánjié and Lóngzhōujié. Among Malaysian, Singaporean people, the festival is also known as the "Fifth Month Festival," the "Fifth Day Festival," and the "Dumpling Festival." In Indonesian, the festival is known as "Peh Cun", which is derived from the Hokkien phrase


The story best known in modern China holds that the festival commemorates the death of the poet Qu Yuan (c.340–278 BC) of the ancient state of Chu during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty. A cabinet member of the Chu royal house, Qu Yuan served in high offices.


However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance and even accused of treason. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry. Twenty-eight years later, Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River.


It is said that the local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him or at least retrieve his body. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan's body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi.


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