Skip to content Skip to footer

A Celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival


Welcome to this captivating video exhibition, a journey that will immerse you in the rich tapestry of the Dragon Boat Festival!

The Dragon Boat Festival falls on Thursday this year, which is the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. It is also known as Duanwu Festival, an ancient and vibrant celebration deeply rooted in Chinese culture. It honors the memory of Quyuan, a revered poet and statesman of ancient China. With dragon boat races, delicious zongzi, and a rich tapestry of traditions, this festival unites communities in a spirit of unity and remembrance.

Join us on a virtual exploration of the legends, poetry, music, and dances that bring the Dragon Boat Festival to life, paying homage to Quyuan and the enduring spirit of this extraordinary celebration.

Dragon Boat Festival Remembering Qu Yuan in poetry

It’s a 2,000-year-old tradition celebrated nationwide in various forms to remember the ancient poet Qu Yuan, who committed suicide out of love for his country during the Warring States period (475-221 BC).

Qu Yuan was a patriotic poet, revered as the father of Chinese romantic literature. He is best known for his poems collected in the anthology Chu Ci, literally, “Poetry of Chu”. Li Sao, or Encountering Sorrow, is one of his most popular pieces nowadays.

Qu Yuan’s Song

This original song, inspired by Qu Yuan’s poems, was created by the popular young Chinese singer Cai Chengyu and first-ranking Chinese songwriters. The song symbolizes people’s commemoration of Qu on the festival and their respect for his profound and unswerving patriotism and his unyielding pursuit of truth.


Dance: Songs Collected Around the Capital — One Day When I See Her Not

Female group dance inspired by The Creeping Grass, Songs Collected in Zheng, The Book of Songs. It describes a young boy coming across a young girl on a country road at dawn. They fall in love with each other as the seed of romance inevitably takes root in their joyful hearts.

Featuring an enjoyable melody and graceful movements and postures, the show fully embodies the beauty of Chinese women in a classical dance.

Dance: Ever-Vigorous, Ever-Improving

Male Group Dance: Originating from the ancient worship of celestial phenomena, the Dragon Boat Festival has evolved from the ancient practice of dragon worship. During the midsummer Dragon Boat Festival, when the man’s power at its peak, all things thrive, just like the “Flying Dragon in the Sky” depicted in the fifth line of the Qian hexagram in the Book of Changes (I Ching). The male group dance showcases a powerful and vigorous display of masculinity, embodying the essence of Chinese culture with the saying, “The gentleman strives for self-improvement and never gives up.” It reflects the indomitable spirit of the Chinese nation, constantly striving for progress and everlasting vitality.

Traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival

One of the most cherished traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival is the exhilarating dragon boat races. Teams of rowers, guided by the rhythmic beat of drums, propel their elaborately decorated boats through the water with strength and precision. These races not only showcase the unity and teamwork of the participants but also pay homage to the legendary poet Quyuan, whose memory the festival honors.

Another beloved tradition of the Dragon Boat Festival is the consumption of zongzi, delicious pyramid-shaped rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. These delectable treats are filled with a variety of ingredients such as sticky rice, meats, beans, and nuts. Enjoyed by families and friends, zongzi symbolizes the act of warding off evil spirits and ensuring good fortune during this special time of the year.

Quyuan's Statue in Hubei Province
Dragon Boat Races
Zongzi - Rice Dumpling

Leave a comment