Traditional Festival | Dragon Boat Festival


The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar – June 10 this year on the Western calendar. It is a 2,000-year-old tradition celebrated nationwide in various forms to commemorate the ancient poet Qu Yuan, who committed suicide out of love for his country.

In September 2009, UNESCO added the Dragon Boat Festival to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the first Chinese festival to receive the honor.

Dragon boat races have been held for centuries. The races were inspired by villagers' valiant attempts to rescue QuYuan from the Miluo River.

An egg balancing competition will be held at noon in many places during the festival.

Zongzi are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. Zongzi filled with five-spice coated fatty pork and mung beans are popular in Guangdong. In northern provinces, people prefer sweet zongzi that are filled with sugary red-bean paste.

At the Dragon Boat Festival, children normally wear scented sachets stringed with five-color silk thread to ward off evil. The sweet-smelling sachet contains cinnabar, realgar and aromatic herbs. Aditionally, the Chinese put mugwort leaves and calamus on doors or windows to repel insects, flies, fleas, and moths from the house.