Happy Dragon Boat Festival 2021
As the first traditional Chinese festival listed on the World's Intangible Cultural Heritages, Dragon Boat Festival is one of the three most important lunar festivals in China, along with Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival.
Date: month 5 day 5 of the Chinese lunar calendar
History: over 2,000 years
Celebrations: dragon boat racing, health-related customs, honoring Qu Yuan and others
Popular festival food: sticky rice dumplings (zongzi)
Learn more facts about the Dragon Boat Festival
Top Customs about Dragon Boat Festival
1. Dragon Boat Racing
To honor the life of Qu Yuan, boat races are held on various waterways throughout China each year. While regular people participate in these races, there are also teams of racers who train for months leading up to the events. Prizes and medals are sometimes awarded to winners, but traditionally, the winning team earns a year of happiness and good fortune. The canoes and long boats used in these races are painted with elaborate dragon designs and colors to celebrate the holiday. People who visit these events can expect to hear loud rhythmic drums that help teams paddle in sync with each other.
At the same time, this interesting race was also spread to Chinese neighboring countries like Japan and Vietnam.
2. Eating Traditional Food: Zongzi
Now eating Zongzi has become an indispensable part of the Dragon Boat Festival celebration. In China, almost every household will eat zongzi when the festival comes. Yet depending on the location and region of China, the taste of Zongzi is different. Generally speaking, people in southern China prefer the salty one while those in northern China like the sweet one.
It is regarded that the most outstanding versions of Zongzi can be found in Jiaxing of Zhejiang Province. Zongzi is not only popular in China, but it has also spread to Korea, Japan, and other countries in Southeast Asia.
3. Hanging Chinese Mugwort and Calamus
Hanging calamus, the aromatic underground stem of the sweet flag herb, and Chinese mugwort is an important activity during the Dragon Boat Festival.
The 2 elements are said to be effective in warding off disease, doing among other things keeping insects away and purifying the air.
This is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.
As the pace of the Chinese continues to expand, many countries are also celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival, and various celebrations are held on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival.
The largest dragon boat festival in North America is the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia which takes place every year in June. In the US, some of the largest dragon boat festivals include the Houston Dragon Boat Festival in Texas and the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival in California.