Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival









Dragon Boat Festival (also known as “Tuen Ng” in Cantonese & ”Duanwu” in Mandarin) is a traditional Chinese holiday in China and Chinese communities throughout East and Southeast Asia. It falls on the 5th day of the 5th month — why it also known as the “double fifth” — of the lunar calendar, which is Tuesday 30 May 2017. 

Every year, local communities throughout Hong Kong and China host their own dragon boat races and give everyone a chance to partake in the excitement of the event and/or enjoy the related traditional foods.



Origins of Tuen Ng


Considered to be the third most important Chinese festival, the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), a beloved statesman and famous poet durng of the Chinese kingdom of Chu. Jealous rivals had falsely accused him of treason, and, disgraced, he was exiled. Overwhelmed by misery, Qu Yuan subsequently drowned himself in the Mi Lo River. The festival’s distinctive dragon boat races are a re-enactment of the frantic and vain attempt by the fisherman to try and save him while tossing rice dumplings (zongzi) into the river in hope that the river creatures would eat them rather than Qu Yuan.


Zong Zi



This popular festival delight symbolizes the ones that were thrown in the river in the story of Qu Yuan. Each is filled with glutinous rice and wrapped in bamboo leaves -- other ingredients can be savory or sweet, or in some cases, both, and their contents often depend on the region. For example, a Cantonese favorite is one featuring a combination of beans, lotus seeds, chestnuts, pork and the golden yolk of a salted duck egg. Their sweet varieties can be filled with red bean or lotus seed paste. Chinese from further north often prefer ones stuffed with either ham or beans for their savory choice and plain rice one that you dip into sugar as their sweet. These Zongzi are widely available at this time of year and are sold at grocery stores, cake shops, major hotels and Chinese restaurants.


Dragon Boating


The dragon boat is a long skiff, traditionally made of teak (southern China) or the type of wood traditionally used for watercraft, that sports an ornately carved “dragon” head and tail. There are a number of sizes but a typical crew consists of two rows of paddlers, a drummer who beats the rhythm and a sweep who controls direction from the stern. For example those used at the 'Stanley International Dragon Boat Championship' in Hong Kong are medium-sized at 38 ft long, with 18 paddlers sitting in nine rows, 1 drummer and 1 sweep.


Activities Highlight in Cities 2016

Beijing   |   Guangzhou    |    Hong Kong   |   Shanghai



  The 9th Session of the Beijing Longtan Dragon Boat Festival
  Date 11 June (Saturday)
  Time 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
  Venue Longtan Park, A8 Longtan Rd., Dongcheng District

Dragon Boat Competitions from 10-11am on 11 June

  2016 Activities in Daguanyuan for Duanwu Festival 
  Date 9-11 June (Thursday - Saturday)
  Time 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  Venue Daguanyuan Park, 12 Nancaiyuan Street, Xuanwu District, Beijing

Traditional folklore activities including a competition for marking traditional Chinese rice dumpling from 10am -12am.

  2016 Activities in Taoran Ting Park for Duanwu Festival
  Date 11 June (Saturday) 
  Time 9:00am - 10:00pm
  Venue Taoran Ting Park, No. 19, Taiping Qiao Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

Duanwu Poetry competitions from 10 - 12 am



 Liede Dragon Boat Parade 2016  
  Date 9 June (Thursday)


Liede Village of Zhujiang New Town 

 Pazhou Dragon Boat Parade 2016 
  Date 7 & 9 June (Tuesday & Thursday)


 Pearl River of Pazhou Baoli Tianyue
  Liede Dragon Boat Parade 2016
  Date 11 June (Saturday)


Liede Village of Zhujiang New Town


Hong Kong

There are quite a number of dragon boat competitions in the city from mid of May till early July. Join one and indulge yourself in this exciting traditional activity. Please click here for the details of the activities and events.

 Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Race 2016
  Date 10-12 June (Friday - Sunday)
  Time 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong

  Discovery Bay Dragon Boat Races and Carnival 2016
  Date Race: 9 June (Thursday)
Carnival: 9 June (Thursday) 
  Time Race: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Carnival: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Race: Tai Pak Beach, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island
Carnival: DB Piazza, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island

  2016 Sai Kung Dragon Boat Race Gala
  Date 9 June (Thursday)
  Time Race: 8:00am - 2:00pm
Carnival: 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Race: Sai Kung Promenade (near Sai Kung pier)
Carnival: Tin Hau Temple

  Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships 2016
  Date 9 June (Thursday) 
  Time 8:00am - 5:00pm


Stanley Main Breach

  Tao O Dragon Boat Racing Competition 2016
  Date 9 June (Thursday) 
  Time 9:00am-2:00pm
  Venue Tai O Promenade, Lantau Island



  Shanghai Suzhou River Dragon Boat Race
  Date 9-10 June (Thursday - Friday)

66 Yichang Road near Jiangning Road, Putao District

  The 8th Dragon Boat Race 2016
  Date 9 June (Thursday)

Thames Town, Lane 990 Sanxin North Road, Songjiang



At APP Mobility, we believe that understanding Chinese traditions and customs helps both newcomers and long-time residents make the most of this vibrant city and its rich heritage. Please feel free to forward this to others who may enjoy it & find it useful.

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Zongzi from Tolbxela@flickr


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