The Dragon Boat Festival is more than about just dragon boats and the races. Here are 10 interesting facts about “Duanwu” that you may not have already known:
- Dragon Boat Festival takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. This year it takes place on the 18th of June.
- The members of a dragon boat racing team average from about 10 to 50 who are kept in rhythm by one member that beats on a large drum.
- The winner of the dragon boat race brings a better harvest to their village.
- Legend has it that the dragon boat race takes place to find the body of ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan.
- Local people throw rice into a river to keep the fish away from eating Qu Yuan’s body.
- Children wear coloured silks tied around their wrists and ankles, carry pouches filled with perfume, and eggs around their necks to protect them from illness and misfortune.
- Eating zongzi is one of the most popular traditions of the dragon boat festival.
- Another name for Dragon Boat Festival is Duanwu. Duanwu also commemorates loyalty to a lord (fealty) and filial piety.
- It was not until 2008 that the Dragon Boat Festival was recognized as a traditional public holiday in the People’s Republic of China.
- If you balance a raw egg on its end at exactly noon on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, the rest of the year will be lucky.
This year’s Dragon Boat Festival, celebrate by watching the Dragon Boat Festival races, eating zongzi, and learning more about Chinese cultural traditions!