Tasty rice dumplings with local variations in fillings have been a tradition of China’s Dragon Boat Festival for centuries. [Photo/VCG]
The Duanwu Festival, otherwise known as the Dragon Boat Festival, was established in remembrance of Qu Yuan, a ministerial scholar and patriotic poet of the state of Chu during the Warring States period (475-221 BC).
You don’t have to live in China long to know that the country’s most popular foods usually have a good story behind them. That’s particularly true of festival foods such as zongzi, the pyramid-shaped steamed glutinous rice packages in bamboo or reed leaves that have been associated with the Dragon Boat Festival for more than a millennium. [Photo/VCG]
Qu Yuan, who died by committing suicide in the Miluo River, was known as a good man. Shortly after he died, the local people, at the time of the event, threw food into the water to distract, and feed, the fish from eating Qu Yuan’s body. They also sat on long, narrow paddle boats, known as dragon boats, making sound to scare away the fish.
Zongzi, rice dumplings wrapped in leaves, remain with us today as the traditional way to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. They’ve been called everything from “Chinese tamales” to “tenderly wrapped packages of pure love”. [Photo/VCG]
Traditional celebrations of the Dragon Boat Festival include eating zongzi, drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats.
In general, northern Chinese prefer sweet versions of these steamed treats, while southerners like ‘em savory. [Photo/VCG]
The festival date, reckoned on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar, falls on May 30 this year.