Dragon Boat Festival
Fifth Date of the fifth month of the lunar calendar
The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duan Wu Jie, falls on June 12th.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. The Dragon Boat races were enacted to expel the “water ghosts,” and, more practically, “designed to educate people to be careful when playing in water during the warmer weather.” Today, the boat races remain a highlight of the festival, which is also celebrated by eating zongzi, a glutinous rice stuffed with various fillings.
- Boston Dragon Boat Festival – The Boston Dragon Boat Festival will be held on June 8-9, 2013
- Discover Hong Kong: Dragon Boat Festival — See how they celebrate in the City of Life
- Qu Yuan [Chu Yuan] – The Great Poet — Learn more about the scholar whose inspired this holiday
- Holidays and Festivals in Taiwan: Dragon Boat Festival — Basic information about the holiday and its customs
- Dragonboat Books for Kids — Stories about Chinese dragons and the meaning of the Dragon Boat Festival