Dragon Boat Festival

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The Dragon Boat Festival in China

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Dragon Boat Festival

  1. 1. Düan Wû Jié
  2. 2. The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the major Chinese Festivals. It falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, or Double fifth Day.
  3. 3. According to legend, an official named Qu Yuan once served as Minister to the Zhou Emperor. He was a poet and wise man and very much loved by the common people.
  4. 4. 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 drowned.
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. A zongzi is a glutinous rice dumpling with a filling, wrapped in bamboo leaves. 粽子 zòngzi
  7. 7. The filling can be egg, beans, dates, sweet potatoes, walnuts, mushrooms, meat or combination of these. They are usually steamed.
  8. 8. Starting from that time to this day people commemorate Qu Yuan through Dragon Boat Races and eating zongzi.
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. The heads are shaped like dragons. The sterns end with a scaly tail.
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. The winner of the race is the first team to grab a flag at the end of the course.
  13. 13. Annual races take place all over China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and in communities wherever Chinese live.
  14. 14. To see a demonstration of making Zongzi go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqYV3p6xECA
  15. 15. To see a dragon boat race go to:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MlxaoLbOjo Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd0vOmCE-dM&feature=related

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