Cities across China and other parts of the world celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival on Monday. Just like in previous celebrations, boat racing remained a major spectacle this year.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

A mini boat race on land was held in Hong Kong on the eve of the festival, as Covid-19 gathering restrictions remained in place.

In Guangzhou, Guangdong province, which has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in May, festival celebrations were reportedly canceled in Covid-19 high-risk areas. However, traditional dragon boat races went ahead in numerous mainland cities, including Chongqing, Shaanxi and Beijing with crew members rowing in boats that feature dragon heads and tails.

Dragon boat racing is one of the most popular traditions during the festival, dating back 2,000 years.

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In Australia, hundreds of people gathered to enjoy performances including songs, music, dances and Taichi, and try different snacks.

According to the organizers, there were 18 stalls at the festival, many of which showcasing Chinese culture. Some children learned how to wrap zongzi with colorful paper, and some were attracted to try Chinese calligraphy at the stall by the Australian School of Contemporary Chinese.

Meanwhile, paddlers from Dragon Boat Egypt Academy participated in a boat race on the Nile in Cairo, Egypt. The dragon boat race was held here on Monday to celebrate the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival.

In Singapore, the two-day celebration attracted over 3,000 participants and supporters from the Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) affiliate teams.

In Guangyuan City, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, a new type of Zongzi made from wild strawberries was a favourite this year.

Various activities are being held throughout China as people celebrate Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Festival – an occasion to commemorate the death of Chinese poet and politician Qu Yuan .

People marked the traditional festival by making the signature food – glutinous rice dumplings, also known as zongzi. The dish is made of sticky rice stuffed with various fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.

Locals and tourists make glutinous rice dumplings to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival in Yinan County, Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province. PHOTO / COURTESY

Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. It falls on June 14 this year.

Nowadays, the races have become an annual sports gala of fun and excitement, attracting contestants from home and abroad.

Making perfume sachets is another popular custom. Chinese herbal medicines are usually wrapped in cloth and sometimes embroidered with exquisite patterns. Colorful strings are then attached to the sachet as decorative tassels. Traditionally, children would wear those to ward off evil spirits and insects.

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