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Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Jie), May 5th in Chinese Lunar Calendar, is one of the oldest traditional festivals in China. This festival was to commemorate Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet in Chinese ancient Warring States Period. He threw himself into Miluo River to die for this Country Chu. It’s one of the national holidays in China and was listed into World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2009. 

On the day, every family makes Zongzi (traditional Chinese Rice Pudding), hangs calamus and wormwood on the gate to drive out evil spirits, sprinkles lime powder to expel insects, and drinks realgar wine (Xionghuangjiu) to keep insects away. 


The most important activity in this festival is Dragon Boat Racing just as its name implies. It’s said that the people in ancient  Country Chu salvaged Qu Yuan’s body from Miluo River to Dongting Lake, but no result. The nearby residents learnt this and sent their own boats to salvage Qu Yuan’s body. Later, people were boating on the river to show their sadness to Qu Yuan. At last, the boating became Dragon Boat Racing. Just in case Qu Yuan’s body was ate by fishes, people threw rice pudding wrapped with a certain kind of leave into river to feed them. 

Of cause, every place has its own unique traditions. For example, In Guilin, the local people will taste five foods, Zongzi, Peach, Plum, Egg and garlic, which are seasonal foods in this period. Also, the number Five pronounces the same with Wu of Duan Wu Jie. The more you have, the lucky and better days you will have. The Dragon Boat Ricing is held in about every five years. The race is held between villages or districts on Li River, sometimes in front of Elephant Trunk Hill. The race is a perfect opportunity for people from different villages, districts to gather together to maintain friendship. 

We are sure that this festival will be celebrated every yeas all over China. Traditions will never be forgotten.