The Dragon Boat Festival

Every year in China, the Dragon Boat Festival starts on the fifth day of the lunar calendar’s fifth month. This celebration of Chinese customs begins on June 20th in 2015. The world-famous cultural event lasts for three days. It celebrates the life of a patriotic poet who lived over 2,000 years ago. The festival features traditional foods, boat races, and amazing decorations.


Rowers take part in dragon boat races during this event. The front of each vessel resembles a dragon. While the rest of the team rows, one person beats a drum. Such races occur in various parts of mainland China. They also happen in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and Singapore. Some North American and European countries hold dragon boat races as well.


People in China embrace a variety of ancient Chinese customs during this popular festival. To prevent diseases, they place calamus and mugwort leaves above doors. These plants are said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Meanwhile, children wear perfumed pouches and have silk threads tied around their wrists. People also try to stand eggs on their ends. Because of the Summer Solstice the sun’s position on June 20th helps to make this possible.


This renowned festival would not be complete without a traditional food known as zong-zi. It consists of sweet, sticky rice in the shape of a pyramid. People often mix the rice with bean paste, jujube, or meat. They also wrap it in bamboo leaves or reeds. Depending on the specific contents, this meal may be served cold or hot.

Basically, the Dragon Boat Festival offers enjoyable events, intriguing Chinese customs, and an opportunity to sample a delicious food that comes in many varieties. Most of the celebration’s activities relate to the life and death of poet Qu Yuan in some way. Others associate it with the beginning of summer.

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