Dragon Boat Festival 2024

The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the four most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. It falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, between May and June. The Dragon Boat Festival is an extremely meaningful event during which families gather to spend time together and honor their ancestors. However, there are also some complications associated with celebrating this holiday for those planning to visit China during the holiday. In this article, we will provide information on the Dragon Boat Festival 2024.

Dragon Boat Festival 2024

History of Dragon Boat Festival

In the original rationale for the Dragon Boat Festival, the fifth month of the lunar calendar was said to be a cursed period. This was because the warm season was approaching in the northern areas of China. During the first warm days, people often got sick, and epidemics spread. At that time, dragon-shaped totems were thrown into the water to ward off evil powers that were believed to bring diseases to the people.

However, the most famous legend about the Dragon Boat Festival is that of Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a poet from the state of Chu during the Warring Kingdoms period. After his country fell, a distraught Qu Yuan threw himself into the Miluo River, committing suicide. The people who lived there searched for his body, but unfortunately, to no avail. They beat drums and scattered water with oars to ward off evil spirits from the poet’s body, and they threw food into the river to keep the fish from eating Qu Yuan’s body.

How is the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated?

Dragon Boat Festival – Dragon Boat Race

One of the most important aspects of this holiday is the dragon boat race. The boats are built of wood and carved to look like dragons. One such boat holds 22 people, including a drummer and a steersman. The drummer sits near the bow and plays a rhythm to energize the rowers, while the steersman is tasked with steering the boat. Other games and water activities also take place during the races, as it is believed that contact with water on this day is supposed to bring good luck.

Dragon Boat Destival 2024

Dragon boat festival – traditional plants and foods

Special attention is also paid to various herbs and foods during the holiday. Traditionally, mugwort and calamus are planted or hung on the doors of homes on this day. In ancient times, these plants were believed to ward off disease and evil spirits.

Zongzi is also incredibly important. Zongzi is a rice ball with a filling wrapped in a reed or bamboo leaf. It can be sweet or savory, depending on the region where they were prepared. You may come across fillings such as meat, dates, bean paste, and nuts.

Dragon Boat Festival – realgar wine

Realgar wine is an alcoholic beverage made primarily from yellow wine and realgar powder, which was considered an antidote to various poisons in traditional Chinese medicine. In addition to drinking realgar wine, it is also used to paint a mark with the word “king” on a child’s forehead. The liquor can also be smeared on children’s hands, ears, and other body parts. It is believed that this will ward off illness as well as give them a longer life.

Dragon Boat Festival – other attractions

During the festival, you can also take part in all sorts of games, such as paper kite flying, grass competitions, or running with an egg, and you can also watch performances such as the zhongkui dance or dragon dances.

When is the 2024 Dragon Boat Festival celebrated?

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. In 2024, it will be June 10 (Monday).

Dragon Boat Festival 2024 and sourcing from China

Note that the Dragon Boat Festival was declared a public holiday a few years ago, so you may encounter difficulties contacting business partners within China during the holiday. It is also worth mentioning that you may also encounter transportation difficulties during the festival due to the crowds gathering on the streets participating in the festival.