The Dragon Boat Festival has been a national celebration in China for over 2,000 years. Commonly known as the Duan Wu Festival, this begins in the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, with 2023's edition beginning on the 22nd June.
Nowadays with the growing influence of Chinese culture popularity, the festival is celebrated in many Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.
Where It All Began
This tradition originated in southern China, with the celebration being held to commemorate Qu Yuan; a Chinese Poet, Wu Zixu: a Chinese General and one of the largest rivers in the Zhejiang Province; Cao E.
Dragon Boat racing itself is said to have originated from the legend of people who paddled out on boats to seek the body of Qu Yuan (343-278 BC) who tragically drowned himself in a river.
What's the Significance of the Date?
With June being an infamous month in Eastern culture (associated with illness and bad luck), the main objective of the festival is to invoke good health, dispel disease and prepare for the months ahead.
It's common among Chinese households to burn mugwort (Ai Ye) and other herbs to cleanse their home of evil.
Other families have been known to drink realgar wine (Xionghuang) and wear perfume pouches to dispel all forms of evil.
How Is the Race Set Up?
Keeping to traditions, the wooden boats used for the festival are shaped and decorated in the form of a traditional Chinese dragon, with the size of these boats varying by region and country.
To visualise, an average dragon boat measures 20-35 metres in length and requires 22-60 people to paddle it. During these races, the teams paddle harmoniously and hurriedly accompanied by the sound of beating drums to help encourage the group.
Legend has it that the winning team will guarantee good luck and live a happy life for the following year, so you can imagine there's some serious competition going into the races!
How Is This Typically Celebrated?
Many families will celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival by eating sticky rice dumplings (Zong Zi).
It is tradition to enjoy these as part of the celebrations, as a memorial to Qu Yuan and Wu Zixu.
Although these little bites of herbal goodness as customary to the festival, these can be enjoyed all year round with local provinces in China creating their own varieties of dumplings.
Zong Zi is created using glutinous rice as the primary ingredient, with the wrapping made from bamboo or reed leaves, making them distinct from other traditional Chinese dumplings.
To kickstart the Dragon Boat Festival 2023 celebrations, we've created our own Zong Zi to inspire your culinary creations this week:
Natural Remedies For Good Luck
For those who prefer a natural supplement which contain the herbs used in Zong Zi to promote good luck and life for the year ahead, here are our recommended remedies to kickstart your purple patch...
Now that you're an expert Dragon Boat guru, get your oar ready to tackle a local river near you and win your team a year of good fortune!
For any further queries regarding the Dragon Boat Festival 2023 or any of our products, please email email@example.com and we'll be happy to help.