People throughout China enthusiastically celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival on Thursday, engaging in a series of captivating activities. The festival, known as Duanwu Festival, is observed on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, with this year’s festivities falling on June 22.
In Ankang City, located in the northwest province of Shaanxi, 28 dragon boat teams competed fervently on the Hanjiang River. Similarly, in Lanxi Town, situated in Yiyang City in central Hunan Province, 420 determined racers propelled their nearly 100-meter-long dragon boats, exerting great effort to forge ahead.
Expressing the significance of dragon boat racing, Tang Zhuman, a dragon boat racer from Yiyang City, Hunan Province, told Reuters, “Dragon boat racing is not only a competitive sport, it also shows a spirit of unity and hard work. It is held to carry on our traditional Chinese culture.”
The dragon boat races served as the highlight of the festival, captivating participants and spectators alike. In Moon Bay of Shenzhen City’s Dapeng New Area, as well as in Nanjing City’s Xuanwu Lake, individuals competed vigorously, showcasing their strength, skill, and collaborative abilities.
Similar captivating events unfolded in Tongren City, Guizhou Province, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, and Wangjiang County, Anhui Province, where enthusiasts of dragon boat sports displayed impressive and captivating competitive performances.
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Gao Peng, a resident of Wangjiang County, Anqing City, Anhui Province, expressed the following sentiment: “As young people of the new era, we should carry forward the spirit of striving for excellence to serve our country in the future.”
A traditional food associated with the Dragon Boat Festival is zongzi, a pyramid-shaped delicacy made of glutinous rice filled with various ingredients and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. Every year, Chinese people consume this sticky treat to commemorate the festival.
In Beichuan City, located in southwest Sichuan Province, villagers shared freshly prepared zongzi with visitors, delighting in the festive delicacy together.
Other regions, such as Zhejiang Province and Jilin Province, held traditional folk activities that showcased their distinctive local features. In Jilin Province, situated in northeast China, members of the Korean ethnic group actively participated in traditional sports activities, including swinging, wrestling, and other customary pastimes.
Shangri-La City, located in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of southwest Yunnan Province, showcased a local tradition of horse racing during the Dragon Boat Festival. Residents galloped with joyous enthusiasm, celebrating the festival alongside their equine companions.
Zhang Runmin, a soldier from the 72nd Army Group’s synthetic brigade, expressed the challenges of organizing a sand dragon boat race on the Gobi Desert training ground, stating, “Only when everyone is of one mind and does their best can we overcome the obstacles to victory.”
Furthermore, the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions also hosted exceptional and thrilling dragon boat races, attracting hundreds of competitive teams.
Deng Tak-xing, race director of the 2023 Macao International Dragon Boat Races, encapsulated the significance of dragon boat racing, saying, “Dragon boat racing is a symbol of the Dragon Boat Festival, which vividly expresses the spirit of perseverance and unity of the Chinese people.”