Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Thanks to Dragon Boat Festival, we enjoyed a nice, long, three day weekend. This major holiday was originally a time to ward off bad spirits, but has become a celebration of the life of Qu Yuan, a Chinese Poet. Qu Yuan, a minister to the Zhou emperor during the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC), was plotted against as a traitor by jealous fellow ministers. In his years of banishment, he collected legends and folk tales, and wrote poetry, all the while maintaining his patriotic love for his emperor. When the Qin warriors overthrew the Zhou rulers, Qu Yuan despairingly threw himself into the Miluo river. The townspeople rushed to their boats to try to save him, tried to prevent the fish from eating his body by throwing rice dumplings into the water, and beat drums to keep evil spirits away.

粽子 zong zi
This day is memorialized still by eating rice dumplings (粽子zong zi) and racing dragon boats; adults drink xiong huang wine and children wear fragrant silk pouches to guard against evil spirits.

And so we ventured out to Dajia Harbor to enjoy the festival.

...and they're off!


the winners

In Chinese culture, Dragon Boat Festival has been an important holiday for centuries. In recent years, however, dragon boat racing has become an international sport. And the competition was fierce! I thought if we were staying another year, I would race next year. Ah, well.

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