Obligatory Dragon Boat Festival Post

Dragon Boat Festival DecorationsGawd, it’s not enough that my post isn’t going to be original, as everyone in the Chinese blogsphere is writing about the damn Dragon Boat Festival, but now I can’t even do the “Dragon Boat Festival Late Post” and be original, as Meg at Violet Eclipse has that. Anyway, Dragon Boat Festival – as I can’t be creative about it, the summary is from Wikipedia (via the unblocked, and wonderful FreeDictionary.com):

– Called “Duan Wu Jie”/ 端午节 in Chinese
– Created to honour a famous Chinese poet, Qu Yuan, who lived in the Warring States Period (which you may remember from some cohabitors of the age – Kong Zi and Lao Zi/Confucius and Lao Tsu).
– Qu Yuan wasn’t happy with the State of Qin (which you might also remember from pretty much every historic kungfu movie ever made – notabely Ying Xiong/Hero) conqueroring his homeland and so he donned his trusty stone floatation device and went for a swim in a river.Here’s the rest a la Wikipedia:

The common people, learning of [Qu Yuan’s] suicide, rushed out in their fishing boats to the middle of the river and tried desperatedly to save him. They beat drums and splashed water with their paddles in order to keep the fish and evil spirits from his body, and later on, they scattered rice into the water to prevent him from suffering hunger and also to feed the fishes in the river so that they would not devour his body. However, late one night, the spirit of Qu Yuan appeared before his friends and told them that the rice meant for him was being intercepted by a huge river dragon. He asked his friends to wrap their rice into three-cornered silk packages to ward off the dragon. This has been a traditional food ever since known as zongzi, although the lumps of rice are wrapped in bamboo leaves instead of silk. The act of searching for his body in the boats gradually turned into the tradition of the Dragon boat race, which is held every year on the day of his suicide.

Dragon Boat Festival BraceletSo, that’s the gist of it. I woke up at about 2 a.m. to Maggie with a light on and a coy expression on her face. I rather harshly asked what the hell was going on and discovered that I had interupted a rather covert mission to tie some string to my wrist that looks remarkably well suited for a Pride March. The multi-coloured bracelet is to be worn until the first rain, then I get to cut it off and dump it in a puddle.

ZongziOur fridge also currently contains one uneaten zongzi; which, as mentioned in the above bit, is a leaf-wrapped lump of something surrounded by sticky rice. This zongzi isn’t too bad, as it’s got pork in the middle of it, but I was somewhat scarred last year when I was forced (out of politeness) to eat one filled with sweet bean paste. Zongzi, like Mooncakes at Mid-Autumn Festival and yuan xiao (元宵) for Lantern Festival, has been added to my “Holiday Food That Sucks” list (fruitcake and brussels sprouts being the ones that started the list).

All in all I liked the following day’s holiday much better: Children’s Day. At least I got the day off (to be made up at a later date, of course).

Well, that’s Dragon Boat Festival. I’m going to go check the forecast for rain, the daily shower’s doing a number on these bracelets – never mind what the bracelets are doing to my shaky manliness.

By the way – new vBlog up.

vBlog.04: Morning Exercise

Click to visit the vBlog

5 Responses

  1. Oh, that brings back memories! Here in HK I don’t see this as much (at all?), but when we were teaching in Liaoning 12 years ago, our college students did this every day at 10:00. And if they became “lackluster” in their exercises, the college spiced it up by sponsoring…… drum roll please……. A COMPETITION! So each college division had to practice and compete against all the others. Of course, our English department was usually at the bottom, and the PE department won. Our students never understood our cynicism about these competitions. (or let it be shown that they did!)


  2. SORRY! I thought I was posting under the children doing morning exercises–OOPS! maybe you can move it there.


  3. Oh, thank god, someone else who dislikes zongzi. I had exactly the same bean-paste-filled experience as you, as a matter of fact, and then they tried to make it up to me by giving me one with dates instead. I just can’t win. People give me incredulous looks every time I say I don’t like them (er, the zongzi, not the people).

  4. As can be gauged by my War On Fat there’s no shortage of Chinese food I love… but the “treats” at holidays… blawk!

    I’ve met people though that just LOVE that bean paste stuff… f’n’ vegetarians and the likes no doubt. Bunch of commies… 😉

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