Today is Dragon Boat Festival or Duānwŭ Jié, Double Fifth Festival, which traditionally falls on the fifth day of May of the Lunar calendar. Today is June 9th. I don’t get it, but it’s a holiday! Mark has the day off school and the coffee shop is closed so we are facing the whole day with no obligations.
Will we go watch a dragon boat race?
Will we go shopping at one of the malls with lots of holiday sale items? Absolutely no!
Everywhere you go today will be covered with people. We prefer to stay home and relax.
So we woke up with no water. Not so relaxing. But I digress.
Dragon Boat festival has conflicting historical references. Some say it was commemorating a tragic poet, Qu Yuan, others say it was about a heroic, yet tragic warrior, Wu Zixu. Either way it involves a lot of suicides/executions. Even the one tradition that involves a dragon of the river is pretty scary.
But all the same, it’s a National holiday and the Chinese dive in with gusto. And of course, there’s a thematic food involved.
Rice dumplings(zongzi) are eaten this day because 1. They were thrown in the river to feed the fish so they wouldn’t eat the body of the suicidal poet, or 2. They were thrown into the river to feed the dragon that had an appetite for people. Either way they are sold all over the place and eaten with relish.
We were given a box of special rice dumplings and a box of special salty eggs and century eggs by the school as a gift for all the foreign teachers. I immediately took the eggs to the coffee shop for the staff to eat, since they love them and we are not fans.
But the zongzi will be tasted and enjoyed as they remind us of the special steamed rice dumplings we ate in the Philippines. And maybe we’ll even try to stand a raw egg on it’s end at noon in order to have good luck!? I know, I can’t explain it either.
Happy Dragon Boat Day!!