Saturday, June 4th is also a significant day in recent Chinese history. Many people know that June 4th is associated with the “Tian’enmen Incident.” Please open the attachment for more detail information. Thanks and have a good weekend.
Lisa Chang Ahnert
Director of Chinese Studies
Dragon Boat Festival (2011)
Dragon Boat Festival is always celebrated on the 5th day of the Fifth Moon. This year is on Monday, June 6th.
There are many legendary stories about the origin of this festival. The most common one is the Southerners’ belief of themselves as the descendants of “The Dragon.” They like to pay respect to “The Dragon” on this particular spring day. Canoe-race is a common activity. The canoes are always carved and decorated with dragon heads and tails, and thus received the name of dragon boats. In Hong Kong, Dragon Boat Races usually take place on the festival day itself, the weekend before or after Dragon Boat Festival at Aberdeen, Stanley, Shatin, Taipo, Cheung Chau and Lantau Island.
In addition, this day is also attached to a historical event – in remembrance of a loyal and dedicated High Officer, Qu Yuan who committed suicide on this day by drowning himself to protest against the corrupt leaders during the time period of the Warring States. His countrymen rowed out the canoes in search for his body, but failed. They then sounded the gongs and drums to frighten the fish away, and threw into the river bamboo-leaves wrapped dumplings so that the fish would eat the dumplings and not harm the body of Qu Yuan.
Therefore, the racing of dragon boats and the eating of bamboo-leaves wrapped dumplings are still a common tradition today. If you are interested in any of the dragon boat races, please check out the following website. Enjoy the day.