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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays Arrow to Chinese Dragon Boat Festival2017 Dragon Boat Festival

Chinese dragon boat hull
The sounds, the color and excitement happen every year.

Entire regattas of sleek dragon boats race for glory as the swiftest and most agile -- with rowing teams keeping in time with drummers pounding out furious rhythms.

In terms of spectacle, even modern Navy fleets (with all their electronic wizardry) trail far behind the pageantry of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival!

In China, the festival will be officially observed on Sunday, May 28 and will continue until Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

The Dragon Boat Festival is also known as the Duanwu Festival and has been observed in China as a national holiday since 2008. Due to its wide popularity, however, the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival will also be celebrated on various dates in the US and throughout the world.


Dragon Boat Festival History and Traditions

Color and competitive sportsmanship are the main attractions of the modern event, but the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival has a rich history dating back thousands of years.

qu yuan
Qu Yuan, an honest man.

The origins of the race can be traced to the popular Chinese poet and patriot, Qu Yuan who in the 3rd century threw himself into the Mi Lo River in a personal protest against a corrupt government.

Upon hearing the news, local people frantically mounted an epic rescue operation. As they raced out in boats to save Qu Yuan, they threw rice into the river and pounded drums to scare away any fish who might want to eat him. Sadly, they arrived too late.

To commemorate the event, dragon boat competitions were soon being held between different clans or villages, and winners were awarded money prizes, festive food, or wine.

Today, the reenactment of the rescue operation continues with furious drumbeats and throwing fire crackers and ceremonial rice over the bow in a symbolic search for an honest man.

Dragon Boat Festival Fun Facts

• Superstitions associated with the Dragon Boat Festival include protection against illnesses caused by moist, warm weather. During the festival, xiangbao (fragrant pouches of herbs) are traditionally tied around the necks of children during the festival. Meanwhile, adults successfully ward-off of summer illness by imbibing a healthy dose of hsiung huang, a special rice wine.

zongzi rice dumplings• Holiday foods served during the Dragon Boat Festival include rice dumplings or zongzi to symbolize the rice offerings on behalf of Qu Yuan.

Historically, dragon boats were large enough to accommodate many rowers at a time. and measured anywhere from fifty to one hundred feet long! Today, dragon boats are smaller in size but continue to be decorated with the traditional wooden dragon head at the bow, and a dragon tail at the stern.

• The largest dragon boat festival in North America is the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia which takes place every year in June. In the US, some of the largest dragon boat festivals include the Houston Dragon Boat Festival in Texas and the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival in California.

2017 Chinese Dragon Boat Festival Races in the USA

dragon boat race in hungary
A traditional dragon boat race takes place on the River Danube in Hungary.

 
 
 
 


More about the Chinese Dragon Boast Festival around the Web


Dragon Boat Festival
- Take in an encyclopedic collection of facts, history, culture and customs including dragon boat racing information, its practice as a modern sport, related links to racing schedules in the U.S. & Canada, from Wikipedia..

The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival - Good intro with pictures of the customs & traditions surrounding the festival.

 

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