Learning about Dragon Boat Festival – Duān Wǔ Jié 端午節

Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th month on the Chinese lunar calendar.  Chinese people call the Dragon Boat Festival – Duan Wǔ Jié.  It is summer time when the Dragon Boat Festival comes.  This summer we had a fun time at the Dragon Boat Festival celebration in Taiwan.  Miss Panda finally got to see the Dragon Boat Race in person.  GeGe and MeiMei with the whole family took the challenge to participate in the standing the eggs game at noon.  it was an amazing experience and WE DID IT!  Let’s look at the pictures, learn the facts about Dragon Boat Festival and experience the tun.

Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat Race

Question:  What is Dragon Boat Festival?

Chinese people call Dragon Boat Festival -  Duān Wǔ Jié (端午節).  It is a day to commemorate the patriotic poet, Qu Yuan (屈原) from the Warring States period (戰國時代) of China.  A story that Chinese children enjoy on this day is the story of the White Snake (Bái shé chuán 白蛇傳).

Question:  When is Dragon Boat Festival?

Answer: This festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar.

Jun 12, 2013/  June 2, 2014/   June 20, 2015

Question:  What activities do Chinese children do on Dragon Boat Festival?

Answer: Chinese children watch the dragon boat race, wear sachets with Chinese medicine powder insert and play the game of standing the eggs at noon.

Game of standing the eggs

Game of standing the eggs

I did it!

I did it!

Question:  What food do Chinese people eat on Dragon Boat Festival?

Answer: Chinese people eat Rice balls wrapped in the bamboo leaves with various fillings inside.  These rice balls are called Z̀ong Zi in Mandarin Chinese.  People cook them in two different ways, they are either steamed or boiled.   There are salty filling with meat, sweet filling with red bean paste, or plain one without any filling inside.   Traditionally, this is the day to drink realgar wine and for kids the adults will put a dot of realgar wine  (yellowish color) on their foreheads to prevent disease and evil spirit.

Standing the eggs at noon on Dragon Boat Festival

Standing the eggs at noon on Dragon Boat Festival

Words and Phrases to know about Dragon Boat Festival – Duān Wǔ Jié – 端午節

1. Dragon Boat Festival – Duān wǔ jié 端午節
2. The patriotic poet commemorated on the Dragon Boat Festival – Qū Yuán 屈原
3. Drgaon – lóng
4. Dragon boat – lóng zhōu 龍舟 or lóng chuán 龍船

5. Dragon Boat Race – huà lóng zhōu 划龍舟
6. Rice balls that people make and eat on the Dragon Boat Festival – zòng zi 粽子
7. to eat a rice ball – chī zòng zi 吃粽子
8. Sachets that children wear on Dragon Boat Festival – xiāng bāo 香包
9. to wear a sachet – dài xiāng bāo 戴香包
10. The plant that hangs on the doors on Dragon Boat Festival – wormwood – ài cǎo 艾草

 

Perfumed sachets at the market

Perfumed sachets at the market

Making sachets with Chinese medicine at home

Making sachets with Chinese medicine at home

Learning resources for Dragon Boat Festival

The Story of the Dragon Boat Festival in animation (short animation for chidlren)

Cooking with Grace: How to Make Zhong Zi (video)

More about Dragon Boat Festival

Legend of the White Snake

The Story of the Dragon Boat Festival (in Chinese characters and pin yin with audio/in Mandarin Chinese)

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