duān wǔ jié
端 午 节
Known as "duanwu" in Chinese, the festival has been celebrated for more than 2000 years. The races are the most exciting part, and happen all over China. However, they are most common in the south, which has many lakes and rivers.
During the competition, boatmen row to the beat of the drum. The captain stands on the bow of the boat and waves a small flag to maintain morale, and ensure the rowers keep time with one another. It's believed that the winning team will bring harvest and a happy life to the people of their village.
Like most Chinese festivals, there's food involved and zongzi is the special food for the Dragon Boat Festival. It's a pyramid shaped dumpling filled with glutinous rice, meat, beans or dates and wrapped in bamboo leaves. Many families make their own zongzi and exchange them among relatives and friends before the festival.
At a store in Beijing, people line up at special counters to buy the sticky treats for their whole family. "My family will sit together and made glutinous rice dumplings with meat or dates as the filling," says one customer. "I buy zongzi to enjoy the festival with my family each year," says another. An employee of the store says, "We are now in short supply, bean paste, jujube, cereals, grains, peas and egg yolks are the best selling."
The Dragon Boat Festival is in commemoration of Qu Yuan, a well-loved Chinese poet who drowned himself in a river out of sadness about his country's future.