The dragon boat festival has a rich history and cultural significance, but many people don’t know what it is or why it’s celebrated.
It is an important event that celebrates the life and work of the great Chinese poet Qu Yuan. The dragon boat festival is a time to come together with friends and family to enjoy food, music, and games.
Legends and myths of Dragon Boat Festival
There are many stories about the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival, but the most popular one concerns the poet and official Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). A patriot who lived during the Warring States period (475-221 BC), Qu was exiled by the ruler of his state because of his criticisms. Upon hearing of his country’s defeat at the hands of its enemies, he drowned himself in a river in despair.
Local people tried to save him by paddling out in their boats, but were too late. To prevent fish from eating Qu’s body, they beat drums and tossed rice into the water. From then on, dragon boat races were held every year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month to commemorate Qu’s death.
The dragon boat festival is observed throughout China, and in Chinese communities around the world. In 2009, UNESCO designated the dragon boat festival a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
That is the story about the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival, and how do people celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival?
How do people celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival?
Zongzi is a traditional food that is eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. It is made of glutinous rice that is stuffed with different fillings like meats, beans, and nuts, and then wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with string. Zongzi can be steamed, boiled, or baked, and it has a chewy texture.
Dagao — Glutinous Rice Cake
Dagao is a type of glutinous rice cake that is popular in southern China. It is made of glutinous rice, sugar, and peanuts, and shaped into a cylinder. Dagao is often eaten with zongzi during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Eggs Steamed with Tea
Eggs steamed with tea leaves is a dish that is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. The eggs are cooked in a mixture of water and tea leaves, and they take on a brownish color from the tea. This dish is said to ward off evil and bring good luck.
Dragon boat tea
Dragon boat tea is another popular food that is associated with the holiday. It is made by soaking tea leaves in realgar wine, and it has a bitter taste.
Cultural Activities & Traditions
Dragon Boat Racing
There are many traditions associated with the holiday but the most distinctive tradition is racing dragon boats.
Dragon boats are long and narrow boats that are decorated to look like dragons. They are paddled by a team of up to 20 people, with one drummer sitting at the front of the boat to keep everyone in time. The races are usually held in rivers or lakes, and the goal is to be the first team to cross the finish line.
The dragon boat festival is a time for family and friends to get together and have fun. It is also an opportunity to remember history and honor those who have sacrificed their lives for their country.
Wearing Fragrant Pouches
Another tradition that is associated with the Dragon Boat Festival is wearing fragrant pouches. These small pouches are filled with herbs and spices like cloves, cinnamon, and aniseed, and they are worn around the neck or hung from a belt. It is believed that the pouches will ward off evil spirits and keep people healthy.
Drinking Realgar Wine
Realgar wine is a type of alcoholic beverage that is made by soaking realgar (an arsenic sulfide mineral) in rice wine. It is traditionally drunk during the Dragon Boat Festival, and it is said to have many health benefits. However, realgar wine can be poisonous if it is not made correctly, so it should be consumed in moderation.
The Dragon Boat Festival, then and now
Although the Dragon Boat Festival has a long history, it has not always found favor with the Chinese authorities. During the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC-AD 220), the festival was banned because it was seen as a superstitious activity. It was not until the Tang Dynasty (618-907) that the holiday regained favor, and it has been celebrated ever since.
In recent years, the Dragon Boat Festival has become increasingly popular both in China and abroad. In 2009, UNESCO designated the festival a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
The Dragon Boat Festival is now a time for family and friends to get together and have fun. It is also an opportunity to remember history and honor those who have sacrificed their lives for their country.
Celebrations of the Dragon Boat Festival
|2017||Tue||30 May||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2018||Mon||18 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2019||Fri||7 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2020||Thu||25 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2021||Mon||14 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2022||Fri||3 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2023||Thu||22 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2024||Mon||10 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2025||Sat||31 May||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2026||Fri||19 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
|2027||Wed||9 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival||National holiday|
F.A.Q what is the dragon boat festival
What does the Dragon Boat Festival symbolize?
On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is when the world-famous Dragon Boat Festival, which is also known as Tuen Ng, takes place. It is done in remembrance of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and minister who is remembered for his devotion to his country and his contributions to classical poetry. Qu Yuan went on to become a national hero after his death.
What is the original point of the dragon boat race?
During the time of the Warring States, some 2,500 years ago, the sport of dragon boat racing was first developed (402-221BC). It was originally a folk ceremony that was practiced in fishing settlements along the Yangtze River in Southern and Central China. The original purpose of the rite was to please the rain gods, promote rains, and celebrate the summer rice growing.
Why did ancient Chinese celebrate Dragon Boat Festival?
According to the legend that is most well-known in contemporary China, the festival is held to mourn the passing of Qu Yuan, who was a poet and minister in the ancient kingdom of Chu during the Warring States era of the Zhou dynasty. Qu Yuan lived somewhere between 340 and 278 BC.
What is the importance of dragon boat racing?
As the event’s name suggests, one of the most important aspects of the celebration is racing in dragon boats. Its purpose is to rid your body of negative energy and make room for healthy, positive energy to enter. In addition to this, the races celebrate the historical hero Qu Yuan, who was active throughout the Warring States Period and held the positions of poet and minister (C. 340-278 BC).
The dragon boat festival is a unique event that celebrates the culture and history of China. If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating holiday or want to experience it firsthand, be sure to check out travel packages that include the dragon boat festival. Or, if you happen to be in China during this time, make sure to head to one of the many celebration locations and enjoy the festivities!