Events  The Dragon Boat Festival in 8 essentials
09/06/201600:00 TV5MONDE


Dragon Boat Festival in Foshan on Fenjiang River - Qingyun team

From an antique tragedy to a major sport activity,
the Dragon Boat Festival in 8 essentials

1- The different appellations are Tuen Ng Festival Day in Cantonese ; Duen Wu Jie in Mandarin Chinese and the Dragon Boat Festival in English.
2- It is a traditional statutory holiday originating from China and occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month on the traditional Chinese Lunar calendar. This year it falls on June 9th 2016.
3- It is mainly celebrated in China, Hong Kong and Singapore, Taiwan and Macau. 
4- It’s hard to imagine that the vibrancy and fun of this day’s colourful festivities has its origins in a tragedy that occurred 2,000 years ago. The Dragon Boat Festival, commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a great poet in the Zhou Dynasty, famously known as the Chinese national hero. In a protest against corrupt rulers, Qu drowned himself in the Mi Lo River. To scare away fishes from eating his body, the townspeople beat drums and gongs. And in order to calm the man’s spirit, they threw glutinous rice dumplings called zhongzi* into the water. (See Zhongzi description hereunder)
5- Today’s colorful event is not only remembered by the Chinese people around the world eating zhongzi and dipping their hands in rivers or lakes; but through the Energetic Dragon Boat races, the highlight of the festival.
6- Fierce-looking dragon boats can measure over 10 meters, carrying a crew of 22 paddlers including a drummer setting the pace for the rowers, and a steersman.
7- Today, passionnate paddlers are coming from all around the world to compete for races in the famous Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong or on the Bedok Reservoir in Singapore. 
8- The best way to enjoy the Festival is to take part! 
There must be a team waiting for you...
 Find your team among
Victoria Recreation Club ; Fair Dinkum Club ; Loreley Dragonboat Team and many others.  

Dragon Boats in Singapore

Dragon Boat races in Foshan city in China

Dragon Boats on the Love River in Kaosiung,Taiwan

Dragon Boat Festival in Stanley, Hong Kong

*Zhongzi refer to some glutinous rice usually mixed with other ingredients such as Chinese barbecue pork or vegetables for the savoury ones (mostly found in Hong Kong) ; and red bean, dates or peanuts for the sweet ones (mostly found in Northern China). They are wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. There is a recipe here on: 


Traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Dumplings filled with dates and wrapped in leaves


Are you planning to take part in the Dragon Boat Festival this year? Where? Share with us!
Thank you and Happy Dragon Boat Festival to all of you! 

Here is a short video of the very first Dragon Boat races in Hong Kong in the 1966 for you to enjoy!

Dates: June 9th and 12th 2016. Find more about the event on this website.
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