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.
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).
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.
- 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
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 –