The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the major
It falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar
month, or Double fifth Day.
He was a
When he fell into
disfavor with the
Emperor because of
corruption in the
court the emperor
had him exiled. He
fell into despair and
threw himself into
the Milo River and
The fishermen rushed out in long boats, beating
drums to scare the fish away. They threw zongzi
into the water to feed the fish and water dragons
so they would not eat Qu Yuan’s body.
A zongzi is a glutinous rice dumpling with a
filling, wrapped in bamboo leaves.
The filling can be egg, beans,
dates, sweet potatoes, walnuts,
mushrooms, meat or combination
of these. They are usually steamed.
Starting from that time to this day people
commemorate Qu Yuan through Dragon
Boat Races and eating zongzi.
The dragon boat races are the most exciting
part of the festival. The dragon boats are
brightly painted and decorated canoes.
They are from 40 – 100 feet long.
The heads are shaped like dragons.
The sterns end with a scaly tail.
A drummer and flag-catcher sit at the front of the boat. Before the
dragon boat enters the competition it must be “brought to life” by
painting the eyes in a scared ceremony. Up to 80 rowers may power
the boat, depending on its length.
The winner of the race is the first
team to grab a flag at the end of
Annual races take place all over
China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan
and in communities wherever
To see a demonstration of making Zongzi go to
To see a dragon boat race go