Today is 端午节(duān wǔ jié), the Dragon Boat Festival!
Time to race in dragon-shaped boats, eat delicious rice balls, called 粽子 (Zòngzi) filled with various tasty fillings and discover the many other customs associated with this holiday, such as balancing eggs to bring yourself good luck for the coming year! Let us tell you all about it!
An ancient festival but a recent official holiday in China
Originally more celebrated in the South of China than in the North, 端午节 became an official Chinese holiday in 2008 (the Chinese therefore now get three days off for this holiday – which they need to make up for on the weekends prior and after the holiday). The Dragon Boat Festival falls every year on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar, which is a different day every year. This year, the Dragon Boat Festival is today, the 12th of June.
Origins of the holiday
The Dragon Boat festival originated over 2,000 years ago and there are many theories about how it all started. While the most popular legend is that of poet 屈原 Qu Yuan (watch his story here in Chinese), there are four main stories explaining how this holiday came to start. Read about them here (bilingual version) and decide which you like best.
Dragon Boat Festival customs and activities
To learn all about the Dragon Boat Festival and its customs, watch this very dramatic video:
Hope you all enjoy celebrating the Dragon Boat festival!
Save us a 粽子!
The Nincha Team