Duanwu Festival

The Duanwu (Dragon Boat) Festival falls on June 14 this year.

Duanwu Festival, 端午节 (Duānwǔ jié) in Chinese, is also widely known as Dragon Boat Festival 龙舟节 (Lóngzhōu jié) in the rest of the world, as one of its celebrative events – dragon boat race – has become so popular in the world. However, like last year due to pandemic lockdown in the UK, we are still unable to watch dragon boat races or to have cultural workshops on campus.

The head of a dragon boat in River Lagan. Image@LiangWANG

If you would like to review how we celebrated it in the past, here are some snapshots with links to full albums (via the Language Centre Facebook).

2020 Culture Talk

2019 Interactive Culture Display

2018 Culture Talk and Workshop

This time, while we cannot get together again, we have invited some staff and students to show and tell what they have done to celebrate the festival – making and eating zongzi 粽子(zòngzi), a typical type of food made of glutinous rice with sweet (e.g. dates, red bean paste) or savoury (e.g. pork, salted egg yolk) fillings wrapped up by bamboo or reed leaves, as the photos shown below.

Vocabulary

  • 粽(子) zòng(zi) – zongzi
  • 糯米 nuò mǐ – glutinous rice; 糯 nuò – sticky and soft; 米 mǐ – rice
  • 粽叶 zòng yè – reed or bamboo leaves; 叶 yè – leaf
  • 竹 zhú – bamboo; 苇 wěi – reed
  • 枣 zǎo – date (fruit)
  • 豆沙 dòushā – red bean paste
  • 咸蛋黄 xián dànhuáng – salted egg yolk
  • 猪肉 zhūròu – pork
  • 绿豆糕 lǜdòu gāo – mung bean cake
  • 装饰 zhuāngshì – ornament, decoration

Greetings

In addition to the common festival greeting that you may say 快乐 kuàilè (happy), many Chinese people also choose to say 安康 ānkāng (peaceful and healthy) or 吉祥 jíxiáng (auspicious). This is because Duanwu Festival is considered having its origin from warding off diseases and illness mostly caused by the rising summer heat and humidity which invited the invasion of poisonous animals such as insects and reptiles. Therefore, you will be able to see people use a varied way of expressions:

  • 端午节快乐!Duānwǔ jié kuàilè! – Happy Duanwu Festival!
  • 端午节安康!Duānwǔ jié ānkāng! – Wish you a peaceful and healthy Duanwu Festival!
  • 端午节吉祥!Duānwǔ jié jíxiáng! – Wish you an auspicious Duanwu Festival!

However, outside overseas Chinese communities, if dragon boat races are the only form of celebrations, i.e. beyond the context of traditional Chinese Duanwu culture, then people would find it normal to just express a happy festive greeting.

  • 龙舟节快乐!Lóngzhōujié kuàilè! – Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

More to explore

A video of QUB students tasting zongzi and other snacks. Video source: QUB Management School Weibo

Have you done something memorable this Dragon Boat Festival? Tell us and share your stories in the comment box below.

Happy International Women’s Day

Aside

国际妇女节快乐 (Guójì Fùnǚjié kuàilè)!

International Women’s Day is held on 8th March each year and is a global day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a day to mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Worldwide, groups and organisations come together to celebrate women’s achievements or to rally for women’s equality. 

From Queen’s Gender Initiative

On Friday 5th March, we hosted the last event of CNY2021 celebration, Panel Discussion – The joy of women artists with brush pens during lockdown, which also marked the celebration of International Women’s Day. We were glad that a wide audience of Queen’s students, staff members and members of the public were positively engaged with the artists, sharing their excellent exhibition as well as their positive life attitude.

Top: Lili Li and Jean Jing; Bottom: Jieyu Li and Wenli Zhang

We would also like to express our heart-felt thanks to you who have been engaged, as both contributors and audience, with our CNY celebrations starting from the paper crafts workshop, through the Launch day event featuring performance and a guest talk on Great Books of China, followed by a two-week-long culture forum talks from an array of interesting topics delivered by scholars and research students from across a range of disciplines and diverse cultural backgrounds.

All the recorded talks, including the ArtEast exhibition and discussion, coupled with flashcards of Chinese as language input, are uploaded online for reviewing. We hope this will encourage continuation of such conversations.

Finally, while we are in preparation for our future events, we may wish that the Year of the Ox brings us strength and success!

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Pre-CNY Workshop

Here it comes the first event of the CNY celebration – all welcome!

Workshop facilitator:
Ms Jean JING, ArtEast Club co-founder

Workshop organiser:
Dr Liang WANG, The Language Centre

Aims:

  • To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox as part of promoting cultural diversity at Queen’s and beyond
  • To appreciate the art of paper crafts with hands-on experience
  • To promote Chinese language and culture learning at Queen’s

Preparation:
Audience are expected to prepare some A4-size papers, a pair of scissors, and a pen or marker (black ink) in advance.

For more events, please visit Chinese Culture Programme.