Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on June 20, 2015. The holiday in China starts from June 20 to 22, 2015.
Chinese Name: Duan Wu Jie
English Name: Dragon Boat Festival
Alternative Names: Tuen Ng Festival, Double Fifth Festival, Fifth Month Festival, Fifth Day Festival
Celebrated by: The Chinese
Activities: Racing dragon boats, preparing and eating Zongzi (sticky race treats wrapped in bamboo leaves), drinking realgar wine
Date: 5th day of the 5th lunar month
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Duan Wu Jie, is an important Chinese traditional festival, and it falls on the 5th day of the 5th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by boat racing in the shape of dragons. Competing teams row their boats to the finish line to win.
Because Chinese people use lunar calendar for important festivals, Dragon Boat Festival’s date varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar (western calendar). The celebration involves eating Zongzi (sticky rice treats wrapped in bamboo leaves), drinking realgar wine (Xionghuangjiu in Chinese), and racing dragon boats. This festival has been held annually for more than 2,000 years, and it commemorates the patriotic poet Qu Yuan.
Dragon Boat Festival has two direct translations, which are Long Chuan Jie and Long Zhou Jie. The official Chinese name is Duan Wu Jie. In Mandarin, it is pronounced as Duanwujie, and it is pronounced as Tuen Ng Jit in Cantonese.
The Dragon Boat Festival of 2015 is on June 20.
The Dragon Boat Festival of 2016 is on June 9.
The Dragon Boat Festival of 2017 is on May 30.
The Dragon Boat Festival of 2018 i on June 18.
The Dragon Boat Festival of 2019 is on June 7.
The Dragon Boat Festival of 2020 is on June 25.
In China, the Dragon Boat Festival memorializes the Chinese patriotic poet, Qu Yuan (Chun Yuan) who committed suicide by jumping into the river after tying himself with a big rock on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month.
Qu Yuan was a loyal advisor and minister of the ancient state of Chu (one of the seven warring states). People were jealous of his position and said a lot of negative things about him behind his back. Also, the king would not take his advice and decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin. Eventually, he was accused of treason and exiled.
During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of patriotic poems. One day, Qu Yuan met a fisherman who only cared about himself, but not the country at all. Qu Yuan thought that the king did not know how to run the country and people only cared about themselves. He did not see any hope for the future and believed that his country would be taken over by Qin soon. Qu’s life was meaningless and he decided to kill himself by jumping in the Miluo River with a big rock tied to himself.
Many fishermen tried to rescue him, but the body is never found. Fishermen worried about fish would eat his body. They threw bamboo food into the river to feed the fish. They also tried to scare the fish away by splashing water with their paddles and beating the drums on the long narrow boats.
Because Qu Yuan died on the fifth day of the fifth lunar mouth, people decided to commemorate him on that day every year.
Three of the most common activities for Dragon Boat Festival include preparing and eating Zhongzi, drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats. In addition to these activities, Chinese people also hang up icons of Zhongkui (a mythic guardian figure), hang mugwort, and calamus, take long walks, wear perfumed medicine bags, and make an egg stand at noon.
The Zongzi that Chinese eat on the Dragon Day Festival is like the food thrown in the river. Zongzi is made of steamed glutinous sweet rice mixing with meat wrapped in bamboo leaves. They are salty, sweet, hot or cold.
The Incense Bag
Before Dragon Boat Festival arrives, parents usually prepare incense bags for their children. They put herbal medicines, perfumes, and some other fragrance stuff into different kinds of sewing bags. The popular incense bags were 12 Chinese zodiac animals.
The Inauspicious Day
Many Chinese people consider the 5th day of the 5th lunar month an inauspicious day because Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on this very day.
Now the Dragon Boat Race is an international event. Dragon boat racing is practiced in over 50 countries in the world, and it is very popular in places like USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Chinese Vocabulary for Dragon Boat Festival
One Minute Chinese: Chinese Vocabulary Words for Dragon Boat Festival