The Dragon Boat Festival is coming!

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Chinese Festivals & Traditions, Dragon Boat Festival
Tags: , ,

The Dragon Boat Festival (端午节[duan1 wu3 jie2] ) falls on the fifth of May according to the Chinese lunar calendar so it is also called “Double Fifth Day”. This year the Dragon Boat festival will fall on the sixth of June. This festival has been celebrated for a long time in various ways throughout Chinese history.  The festival is widely known for its origins; originating from a tradition for Chinese people to remember Qu Yuan, a very famous Chinese poet during the Warring States Period. He committed suicide by drowning himself in Miluo Lake because he was so disgusted by the corruption of the Chu government at that time. People who lived in Mi Luo area kept throwing food (which is now widely known as 粽子[zong4 zi]) into the lake in order to keep fish away from Qu’s body. Local people also tried to sit in a narrow paddle boat called “dragon boat” and beat a drum so as to scare the fish.

Today the two methods have been revised to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.  On that day; Chinese families will get together and have a big meal whereby they eat 粽子. 粽子 is made of steamed glutinous rice. The fillings vary according to different areas. For instance, in Hunan, there is a famous type of 粽子 called 辣棕 [la4 zong4] (spicy zong zi). Additionally, the dragon boat competition (赛龙舟[sai4 long2 zhou1]) will be held in memory of Qu’s death. Every year in Miluo, Hunan, there will be a Dragon Boat competition which attracts many tourists.

Michael and Jing

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