What is the dragon boat festival?

May 29 · 2019 Medea Chen.

The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the major Chinese holidays, which occurs near the summer solstice and on the 5th day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.

In the earlier time, people believed that natural disasters and illnesses in the fifth month due to getting rid of the misfortune. People would put Artemisia, calamus, pomegranate flowers, garlic, and Chinese ixora above the doors in the dragon boat festival. Since the shape of calamus forms like a sword and with the strong smell of garlic, it is believed that they can remove the evil spirits.

Dragon Boat Festival has the longest history and many different stories are telling about the dragon festival boat’s origin, the most popular story is about the death of a poet named Qu Yuan.


The story about Qu Yuan.

The most common story about the dragon boat festival goes with Qu Yuan who is an advisor in the court of Chu during the Warring State period of ancient China. Qu Yuan is not only an advisor but a poet in the period. He had proposed emperor a strategic alliance with the state of Qi to fend off the threatening state of Qin. However, however, the emperor didn’t buy it and exiled Qu Yuan. Unfortunately, Qu Yuan was right about the threat presented by the Qin, Chu emperor was captured and imprisoned soon after sending Qu Yuan off. Soon after Chu king surrendered to their rivals. Once Upon hearing the news, Qu Yuan was sad and depress, then drowned himself in the Miluo River in Hunan Province. People appreciate Qu Yuan’s patriotic action and throwing zongzi into the river to avoid fishes eating Qu Yuan’s body. They rowed the boat around the river finding Qu Yuan’s body. After that, People wrap and eat zongzi, hold dragon boat races every year to memorize Qu Yuan.

credit: china.com.cn

Dragon Boat Festival customs in Taiwan

1. Dragon Boat races

Dragon Boat racing is a traditional custom in the festival, which is originating from the attempts to save Qu’s Body. According to traditions, people fear Qu’s body eaten by fishes so they tried to row boats around the river. Since then, Dragon Boat racing become one of the customs in the Dragon Boat Festival.

2. Eating Zongzi

Zongzi is a pyramid-shaped parcel food which wraps sticky rice in a bamboo or reed leaves. There is variations recipe when people wrapping traditional zongzi, including additional fillings of egg yolk or chestnut, meat, or bean paste. Normally, it is eaten without any other fillings. In Taiwan, people can get Zongzis through visiting the nearest night market, booking on the internet shop, or pre-purchase on supermarkets or convenience stores.

Photo retrieved from https://24h.pchome.com.tw/prod/DBCP02-A900AMRL5?gclid=CjwKCAjw5cL2BRASEiwAENqAPlhScAmblFAaOFNey9qJjDutarFg_PgsZWtYxB7BbPrO8wvZwifjMhoCF0EQAvD_BwE

3. Egg-balancing

In tradition, people believe that you wi8ll supposedly receive good fortune for the following year if you can make egg balance on the end at exactly noon on the day of the dragon ball festival.

Photo retrieved from https://video.udn.com/news/332354