Dragon Boat Festival, as known as Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and statutory holiday in China, occurring on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. Main customs of the celebration include eating the rice dumpling (zongzi), hanging calamus, Artemsia argyi, smoked herb and Angelica dahurica, drinking Realgar wine (xionghuangjiu), and racing dragon boats. The festival was long marked as a traditional holiday in China. On May 20th 2006, it was selected into the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage items; in 2008 it was celebrated as a public holiday in China; on October 30th 2009, it was chosen into the UNESCO World Non-Material Cultural Heritage List.
Dragon Boat Racing
The Dragon Boat Festival used to have many interesting customs that are no longer commonly observed, though you may still find them practiced in some rural areas. The most popular activity done during the Dragon Boat Festival is the racing of Dragon Boats. Dragon boat racing is held at that day each year in many cities in southern China. Read more
Places to see Dragon Boat Racing in 2012
Mianshanzi (Chinese: 面扇子）Mianshanzi is a kind of wheat flour food made for fan shape. The custom of eating Mianshanzi on the Dragon Boat Festival mainly prevails in Minqin County in Northwest China’s Gansu Province. This fan-shaped food is made up of five layers, with each layers covered with fried sprinkles of pepper powder. The appearance of the food is pinched into a variety of flowers to make it appeal to eyes. This diet custom is said to trace to the tradition of making and selling fans during the festival in ancient times.
Glutinous Rice Cake (Chinese: 打糕）Glutinous rice cakes are eaten for the capital ethnic minority people living in Yanbian area in Northeast China’s Jilin Province.
In East China’s Wenzhou area, every family eats a kind of thin pancakes on the Dragon Boat Festival date. The pancake is made of refined white wheat flour fried on an iron frying pan. When the cake becomes very thin and translucent, as thin as a piece of silk as the local describes, it is done. Green bean sprouts, leek, shredded meat and mushrooms are then rolled into the cake as filling.