When is the Dragon Boat Festival?
The Tuen Ng Festival, also known as the Duanwu or Dragon Boat Festival, was held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar for millennia.
Traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival
Legend has it that the festival honors the tragic death of Chu Yuan, who died in 288 BC. C. At the time of the Warring States, Chu Yuan was a poet and minister of the state. The King was captured during the fighting and in honor and memory of the old King, Chu Yuan wrote a poem called “Li Soa”. This enraged the new King, who ordered Chu Yuan into exile. Instead of leaving his beloved country, Chu Yuan threw himself into the Mi-Lo River.
Legend has it that people tried to rescue their honest statesmen by chasing him down the river, drumming to chase the fish away, and throwing meatballs into the river so that the fish would not eat his body. Today’s celebrations symbolize the futile attempts of friends and citizens who rushed downstream to save Chu Yuan.
How is the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated?
Today’s celebrations symbolize the futile attempts of friends and citizens who rushed downstream to save the respected Chu Yuan. There are half a dozen sites in Hong Kong today that participate in dragon boat races.
A dragon boat is a huge war canoe traditionally made of teak that has a dragon’s head carved on the bow and a dragon’s tail carved on the stern. Boats can reach up to 100 feet in length and seat between 20 and 80 rowers, varying in size. A sacred ritual is held before the race when the eyes are painted, which is said to “bring the boat to life.” A drummer who sits in the middle of the boat and keeps the time of the rowing strokes on a huge drum accompanies all the boats.
Dragon Boat Races are all-day events. All sorts of organizations from all over the world, like the police, fire, army, embassies and even local journalists’ unions, travel to Hong Kong and join teams for races.
A shot shoots the boats and the drums and saucers of the crowded coasts fill the ports with noise. The races last all day; On the shores of Hong Kong, people celebrate with lively songs and dances, supporting their team.
Dragon Boat festivals are believed to repel evil and bring luck in the summer months.
It seems like you can’t have a major Southeast Asian festival without some form of rice dumplings, and Dragon Boat is no exception. A popular tradition associated with the Dragon Boat Festival is to eat sticky rice dumplings called zongzi.
They are often given as small gifts during the festival and are available in most stores.
The rice is wrapped in bamboo or lotus leaves and the rice has flavor according to the region. In northern China, meatballs are usually sweet; while in southern China, zongzi are tastier. In Taiwan, they can be made from peanuts, chestnuts, and squid.
About a week after the festivals in Hong Kong, special international Dragon Boat races are held throughout Asia and the United States. In the USA USA, can be found in Boston, New York and Colorado. Currently, there are 68 countries that are members of the International Dragon Boat Federation, demonstrating the popularity of the race.
In 2009, this festival was inscribed on the UNESCO list representing the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.