Friday Photo: Dragon Boat Practice

dragon boat festival
Practicing for the Dragon Boat races along the Xindian River

Taiwan has a four-day weekend to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival (端午節, Duānwǔ jié), which falls on Tuesday this year.

According to most accounts, the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates poet Qu Yuan, who was a minister of Chu state during China’s Warring States Period. After the Qin captured the capital of Chu, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River. According to legend, locals rushed out to the river to recover his body and tossed sticky rice in to keep the fish from eating him.

dragon boat festival

While the legend of Qu Yuan is the most popular origin story for the holiday, there are others that also involve drowning.

Today, the holiday is celebrated with Dragon Boat races and zongzi (糭子), glutinous rice dumplings with various fillings wrapped in a bamboo leaf.

Taipei will celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival at Dajia Riverside Park (map) from Sunday to Tuesday. There will be dragon boat races throughout the day as well as performances and food vendors. The activities run from 8 am to 5 pm each day. For more information, visit the Taipei City Government website.

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