china edition


Dragon Boat Festival

Date: 5th day of the 5th lunar month
Venue: Nationwide

The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival has the longest history of any of the festivals celebrated in China. Dragon boat races are held to the sounds of thunderous drumbeats. Racing teams row vigorously, sprinting forward to reach the finish line.

In Chinese tradition, the dragon boats attempt to rescue the patriotic poet, Chu Yuan. Chu Yuan drowned himself because his king would not take his advice.

As a result, his kingdom was conquered. Chu Yuan drowned himself on the 5th day of the 5th month in 277 BC. To save his body, people fed the fish cooked rice. They rowed boats and threw bamboo leaved filled with cooked rice into the water. Later, the custom of eating tzungtzu and rice dumplings became part of the festival.

Dragon Boat FestivalTo show their respect for the great patriotic poet, the Chinese make it a point to mark the anniversary of his death by eating zongzi, a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves, and holding dragon boat races.

Tourist activities are organized in various parts of the country, but the celebrations in the city of Miluo are most fascinating. The International Dragon Boat Festival held in June 10-14 annually in Yueyang, Hunan Province, is perhaps the most famous known in China. More than 20 dragon boat teams from the United States, Canada, Australia, and countries and regions in Southeast Asia attend the racing and demonstration shows every year.