Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Home History and Culture Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

   Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival (duān wǔ jié 端午节), also called Double Fifth Festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. It is one of the most important traditional  festivals in China.

Qu YuanIn ancient China, there is a scholarly government official named Qu Yuan (qū yuán 屈原). He was a good and respected man, but because of the misdeeds of jealous rivals he eventually fell into disfavor in the emperor's court.

Unable to regain the respect of the emperor, in his sorrow Chu Yuan threw himself into the Miluo River (mì luó jiāng 汨罗江). Because of their admiration for Qu Yuan, the local people living adjacent to the Miluo River rushed into their boats to search for him while throwing rice into the waters to appease the river dragons.

Although they were unable to find Qu Yuan, their efforts are still commemorated today during the Dragon Boat Festival.

Dragon boat races is the most important activity in Dragon Boat Festival. Competing teams drive their colorful dragon boats forward to the rhythm of beating drums. These exciting races were inspired by the villager's valiant attempts to rescue Chu Yuan from the Mi Luo river. This tradition has remained unbroken for centuries.

Dragon Boat RaceA very popular dish during the Dragon Boat festival is tzung tzu (zòng zǐ 粽子). This tasty dish consists of rice dumplings with meat, peanut, egg yolk, or other fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves. The tradition of tzung tzu is meant to remind us of the village fishermen scattering rice across the water of the Miluo River so as to appease the river dragons so that they would not devour Chu Yuan.

Zong ZiThe time of year of the Dragon Boat Festival, the fifth lunar month, has more significance than just the story of Qu Yuan. Many Chinese consider this time of year an especially dangerous time when extra efforts must be made to protect their family from illness. Families will hang various herbs, called Ay Tsao (ài cǎo 艾草), on their door for protection. The drinking of realgar wine is thought to remove poisons from the body. Hsiang Bao are also worn. These sachets contain various fragrant medicinal herbs thought to protect the wearer from illness.



Hsiang Bao      古代中国有一位博学多闻的官吏屈原,他是一位爱民而且又受到尊崇的官吏,但是由于一位充满嫉妒的官吏陷害,从此在朝廷中被皇帝所冷落。由于无法获得皇帝的重视,屈原在忧郁的情况下投汨罗江自尽。






China Yellow Pages