15 Jun Dragon Boat Festival
by Ron R. Lacson, Asia Regional Compliance Director
The Dragon Boat Festival or Duanwu Jamboree was long defined as a cultural annual event in China and is marked as a public holiday in the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It falls on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month according to the Chinese calendar.
How the people celebrate it these days is pretty much the same the way the local people did in 278 BC.
On the water, there will be boats whose sterns and fore are shaped with Chinese Dragons which would be racing against each other. The riders toil the oars to reach the target while they beat drums to encourage determination and guarantee that the rowers maintain exact time intervals with one another.
On the land, people eat a special food called Zongzi, a pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in reed leaves, with various fillings. Nowadays, during the festival, celebrators eat the rice instead of throwing them into the water to feed the fish.
This year 2018, the festival will be on 18th of June.
In Hong Kong, the best places to go to observe and celebrate the occasion are:
– The Stanley Main Beach where the Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships will be held on the date of the Festival.
– The Victoria Harbour where the Dragon Boat Carnival or Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races – a 3-day event with a huge social ball & party – will take place.
The Dragon Boat Race has also evolved into a spectacular sport competition which can now be seen not only in CHN, HKG, TWN and Macau, but also in Japan, Malaysia, Australia, UK, US and in many other countries.
So this year, let’s celebrate the festival in JSI by either eating Zongzi or participating in /watching a Dragon Boat Race, or both; wherever we are.