Dragon Boat Festival Date in the current year: June 9, 2016

Dragon Boat Festival The Dragon Boat Festival, often referred to as the Tuen Ng Festival, the Duanwu Festival or the Double Fifth Festival, is a traditional holiday that originates in China. It is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese calendar.

The festival is believed to commemorate the death of Qu Yan, a Chinese poet and minister known for his contributions to classical Chinese poetry as well as his patriotism. Qu Yan committed ritual suicide as a form of protest against the corruption of the era, drowning himself in the Miluo River.

According to legend, villagers desperately tried to save him, but their attempts turned out futile. So they started to beat drums, splash the water with paddles and throw sticky rice into the river in order to keep fish and evil spirits away from Qu Yan's body.

Dragon boat races held during the festival originate from the act of racing to save Qu Yan or at least retrieve his body from the water. And the balls of sticky rice that were thrown into the water have transformed into zongzi (sticky rice dumplings), traditional food eaten during the Duanwu Festival.

The Dragon Boat Festival is an official public holiday in some Asian countries, such as China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It is unofficially celebrated by Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore and some other countries in southeast Asia.

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Public Holidays, Cultural Observances, Folk Festivals


China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau


Dragon Boat Festival, Tuen Ng Festival, Duanwu Festival, Double Fifth Festival, Chinese festival, public holiday