Duān Wǔ Jié 端午节 Dumpling Festival 2024

The Dumpling Festival (端午节 “Duan Wu Jie” ), or Dragon Boat Festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar
Zong Zi” (糯米) Bak Chang
Duān Wǔ Jié 端午节 Festival

Zongzi is a must-have food during Duanwu Festival. In ancient China, these traditional rice dumplings were used as an offering to pay tribute to ancestors and deities. Later, according to legend, after poet Qu Yuan plunged himself into the Miluo River, people threw zongzi into the water to divert fish away from his body. Zongzi are pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves and tied with colored thread. They are prepared with a wide range of fillings, including jujube and bean paste, fresh meat, ham and egg yolk.

Duanwu Festival is also called the Dragon Boat Festival. It's said that the festival may originate from dragon worship and that dragon boat racing reflects a reverence for the dragon deity. Folk tales also suggest that dragon boat racing is connected with the ancient poet Qu Yuan. After Qu Yuan drowned himself in the river to mourn the fall of his motherland, local people raced out in their boats to try and save him. Later, dragon boat racing became an indispensable part of the festival. Nowadays, it has developed into a sport which combines both Chinese tradition and the modern sporting spirit.

Realgar wine is a kind of Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar. Legend has it that an old doctor poured a jug of realgar wine into the water where poet Qu Yuan drowned himself, hoping to make all the creatures in the river drunk and prevent them from eating the poet's body. Past generations also used realgar as a pesticide against mosquitoes in the hot summer, and as an antidote against poison in ancient times. Now, drinking realgar wine has become a tradition during Duanwu Festival. Chinese people often hang mugwort above their doors to deter insects. In ancient times, people believed that hanging mugwort, calamus or pomegranate flowers could get rid of misfortune or drive away evil spirits. Also, venomous animals — such as snakes, centipedes and scorpions — were said to appear starting from the fifth day of the fifth month, and so people would hang mugwort or calamus, take long walks, and wear perfumed medicine pouches to keep venomous animals away and prevent diseases while promoting health and well-being.

Dragon Boat Festival: Names, Origins, Traditions, Greetings

Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which is in late May or June on the Gregorian calendar.

Dragon Boat Festival is one of the four top traditional Chinese festivals, along with the Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, and Mid-Autumn Festival. It is called Dragon Boat Festival, or Longzhou Jie (龙舟节) in Chinese, because of its close association with dragon boats. Chinese people attach great cultural significance to dragons. The two main activities during the festival are eating zongzi (rice dumplings) and boat races, and both are related to dragons. Zongzi have long been thrown into rivers as offerings and sacrifices to the Dragon God on lunar month 5 day 5, while dragon boats are used in races traditionally held on this day. So, it is also called the Dragon Boat Festival.

In addition to China, many other Asian countries also celebrate this festival. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Taiwan, it is known as Bak Chang Festival (‘Dumpling Festival'). Learn more facts about the Dragon Boat Festival:
  • The Festival Date Varies Each Year!
  • It Is an Important Public Holiday
  • It Is One of the National/UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Items
  • It Is a Traditional Festival to Worship an Ancient Chinese Poet — Qu Yuan
  • The Most Ceremonial Activity Is Held — Dragon Boat Racing
  • Eating Zongzi is the Most Popular Custom
  • Special Plants are Hung on Doors to Discourage Diseases