If you are a fanatic of different cultures and traditions, you must not miss the Hong Kong dragon boat festival. Also known as Tuen Ng, it’s an annual celebration full of energy and colors. This fiercely competitive festival leaves you refreshed and energetic.
If you’re wondering when, where and how this festival is celebrated, we have got you covered. Here’s a detailed guide for the Hong Kong dragon boat festival 2021.
History Of Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Hong Kong dragon boat festival takes place on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month. According to the Gregorian calendar it usually falls in May or June. The history of this festival dates back to the 3rd century. This colourful and energetic festival includes a race of dragon boats. Several people, divided into teams, race the long narrowboats and the entire atmosphere vibes on the beat of the drum.
There are several narratives about the origin of the dragon boat festival. But as the most famous story goes, a Chinese poet and minister named Qu Yuan was so disappointed by his country’s governance that he drowned himself in the river in protest. Locals rushed to save the man, paddling on their boats, banging the drums but in vain. They offered rice to calm the spirits of an old man.
The race of long dragon boats, drumming and rice are some of the essentials of the modern-day Hong Kong dragon boat festival.
Where Can You See Dragon Boat Festival
- A high profile event is organised at the Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships in Stanley Main Beach
- The 3-day event, Dragon Boat Carnival is organised in Victoria Harbour usually in June or July
- On the first day of the Dragon Boat Festival, there is a great chance to witness the boat race in different parts of Hong Kong
Unconventional Traditions Of Dragon Boat Festival
Hong Kong has an exotic culture and this festival is no different. Here are some unconventional and interesting traditions of the Dragon Festival:
- Rice dumplings are an integral part of the festivities. Over the period of time, the recipes have become elaborate and mark the celebration
- People wear lucky bracelets by weaving together 5 different colours- cyan, white, red, black and yellow that represents wood, gold, fire, water and earth
- Locals adorn their windows, doors and walls by crafting poisonous creatures out of colourful papers to ward off their evil spirits
- Dragon Boat race needs a lot of luck and to bring it, women carry scented sachets
- During the festival, some local temples and stores organise an annual egg balancing contest. Locals believe that the chances of an egg standing upright are connected to the gravitational force of the sun or moon
Food You Must Try During Dragon Boat Festival
Like any other festival in the world, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival focuses heavily on food. Each food item holds its significance in its respective region. Following are some of the food items you must try during the festival:
- Zongzi: Delicious rice dumplings made out of sticky rice and a variety of fillings, wrapped in bamboo leaves. Zongzi has evolved over the years and has many varieties now
- Jiandui (Friend Cake): Round fried cake made of wheat and rice flour. It’s primarily eaten in Fujian Province
- Thin Pancakes: Made from white wheat flour, this pancake is filled with green beans, shredded meat and mushrooms. It’s eaten in the Wenzhou area
- Eggs Steamed with Tea: Popular in the Nanchang region, eggs are boiled with tea. Later the shells are dyed red, placed in colourful bags and worn by kids for good luck