Dragon Boat Festival
Fancy a dragon boat race or
bamboo-leave-wrapped yummy rice?
Speaking of Chinese cuisine, my bold guess is that nine in ten Australians would burst out “DUMPLINGS!” (The one left is to make my guess look more scientific). Here let me introduce another typical and interesting Chinese food: Rice Dumping (mandarin: Zongzi). Though their names are quite close, rice dumplings are so different from dumplings that they’re not even relatives. From a tiny rice dumpling, you’ll have a peep into the broad Chinese culture and folk customs.
Rice dumplings are a must for China’s Dragon Boat Festival, a day dedicated to praying for good, warding off evils and paying tribute to Quyuan, a great Chinese romanticism poet and patriotist. Legend has it that after Quyuan died in the river, people threw rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves into the water, to feed the river creatures so as to keep them away from Quyuan’s body.
In Zigui of Hubei, Quyuan’s hometown, the public has a variety of celebrations on the Dragon Boat Festival: No.1 is the dragon boat race. The others include hanging up wormwoods to bring health, poem chanting and making competitions, making and wearing herb bags, etc.