Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duan Wu Jie, falls on May 30.

Dragon Boat Bow

Dragon Boat Bow by Russ Glasson, via Flickr

It is widely held that the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the Chinese patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C.), who drowned himself rather than see his homeland invaded by a warring state. However, according to Yuan Chang-rue, a folklorist and professor at the Graduate School of Folk Culture and Arts, “[i]n ancient times, the Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated in early summer, reminded people that the ‘poison season’ of May, June and July, is beginning…” and was associated with health and well-being.

Today, the festival is highlighted by the dragon boat races and the eating of zongi, a sticky rice dish with a variety of fillings.

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