The Dragon Boat Festival will fall on the 7th of June, on Friday. China will have a 3-day holiday from 7th June to 9th June (Friday to Sunday). The locals will only be back to work on the 10th of June, on Monday.
What is the Dragon Boat Festival?
The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, otherwise know as the 端午節 (Duānwǔ Jié), is a holiday that’s primarily celebrated in China, Hong Kong and Macau. This is a traditional festival of superstitions and traditions. This occasion has been a holiday for the Chinese since 2008.
During this popular festival, locals will celebrate with loved ones, while participating in interesting and fun activities to bond with each other. For example, locals will race each other in dragon-shaped boats during this occasion (known as Dragon Boat Racing).
During the Dragon Boat Race, the respective teams will work as a team and paddle together while the drums are being played loudly. Heading towards the finished point, it is said that the winning team will have great luck and a prosperous following year. This ancient sport is now enjoyed by 35 countries around the World.
How did this festival originate?
The festival is incredibly cultural. Dragon Boat Racing originated from the legend where people paddled out on boats to scare the fishes away and retrieve the Chinese Poet, Qu Yuan’s body after he drowned himself in 278BC.
Qu Yuan was a famous poet and politician during the Chu Period. However, he was expelled by the Emperor after being accused of treason. He wrote multiple poems to express his passion and love for his country. After writing his famous Huia Sha Poem, he decided to drown himself on the 5th day of the 5th month (of the Chinese Lunar Calendar). Citizens of the country were extremely upset, therefore, they started to set out with their fishing boats to find his body.
The locals would make rice dumplings 粽子(zòng zi) and throw them into the water and feed the fishes, so they would not eat the Poet’s body. The Dragon Boat Race is a symbol of the attempts to rescue and recover the body of Qu Yuan as quickly as possible. This is why the locals would always dragon boat race and eat rice dumplings during the Dragon Boat Festival.
What are sticky rice dumplings 粽子(zòng zi)?
They are pyramid-shaped dumplings that are wrapped using bamboo leaves. The filling includes sticky rice, meat, beans, etc. These are traditionally enjoyed by the locals during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Interesting facts about the Dragon Boat Festival:
- The Dagon Boat Festival means the ‘start of the fifth traditional solar month festival’
- The date is the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar
- It was added to the first badge of National Intangible Cultural items
- It was added to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list
- Dragon boats were first used in China 2,500 years ago
- Children will wrap their wrists and ankles with silks and carry pouches filled with perfume to protect themselves from getting ill.
- The winner of the Dragon Boat Race will bring a better harvest to the village
Do not worry! Although our office in China is closed for the weekend, our teams in Vietnam and the Philippines are still open. Feel free to contact us and await a response! Vietnam front loads most public holidays to the first part of the year with Tet and CNY being the major overlap for ODM staff taking well earned time off.
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