Beijing Dragon Boat Festival

June 8, 2016
Mar Diez
Dragon Boat Festival


The Dragon Boat Festival has been taking place for more than 20 centuries and some believe these traditional races are as old as the ancient Olympic Games. The festival now occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar.


dragon boat festival


The story best known in modern China hold that the festival commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan of the ancient state of Chu. A cadet member of the Chu royal house, Qu served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance and even accused of treason. 20 years later, seeing the Chu capital occupied by the Qin state and his people suffer, Qu committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River. Locals who admired him, raced out in their boat to save him or at least retrieve his body. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body couldn’t be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu’s body.


Dragon Boat Festival


What to eat

Eating Zongzi is one of the customs of Dragon Boat Festival. The pyramid-shaped sticky rice parcels is filled with roasted pork, mixed nuts or other sweetened fillings.

Get them Little Jiangnan Shanghai Soup Dumplings (小江南汤包私房). A neighbourhood shop in Liangmaqiao.


Zongzi, Dragon Boat Festival


Drink Realgar Wine. There is an old saying: ‘Drinking realgar wine drives diseases and evils away!’ Realgar wine is a Chinese alcoholic drink consisting of fermented cereals and powdered realgar.

What to do

Dragon boat race

Great Wall Party – 9th & 10th June 2016: After the massive success of 2015’s Great Wall Party with almost 1000 revellers dancing the night away, the location remains the same. The party will take place in an isolated outdoor movie set by the Great Wall in the sandy outskirts of Hebei, surrounded by mountains and natural beauty. 100-300 RMB/ person

Contact: 136 8126 3981 AND 186 1829 1732 (both English)

Beijing Craft Beer Festival – 10th & 11th June 2016: Great Leap’s Craft Beer Festival offers a taste of China’s most happening breweries. Free entrance. Venue: BCBF at Galaxy Soho.

Tagged in:Expat Tips, Explore, Food, General

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