Exploring Foods Eaten During The Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday that occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar. 

While the accompanying festivities may still not be back to capacity, this year, the festival (also referred to as Duanwu Festival) falls on June 14. The festival is vibrant and colorful, but the festivities that commemorate the day are the traditional dishes that make up a large part of celebrating The Dragon Boat Festival. 

Among some of the popular dishes for prepared and enjoyed on the day include rice dumplings which are a common go-to dish prepared for the Dragon Boat Festival for some two thousand years. Here are other foods that are eaten during the festival.


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Zongzi is a very popular, traditional dish enjoyed during the Chinese festival. A few days before Duanwu, households prepare the rich rice dish in varied shapes and sizes. 

Zongzi is essentially a glutinous rice dish with meat or other fillings. They are made in many different flavors then wrapped in bamboo leaves.


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In some areas of China, namely in the eastern Wenzhou area, thin, savory pancakes are made of refined white flour cooked. They are typically prepared with green bean sprouts, mushrooms, and shredded meat. 


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Dǎgāo is glutinous rice cakes popularly enjoyed by the North Korean ethnic minority people who live Northeast of China’s Jilin Province. The chewy rice cakes are steamed with the herb mugwort and typically served with honey or sugar.

Eggs Steamed with Tea

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The tea egg recipe uses a hard-boiled egg that is soaked in tea and spices. The process results in a red-stained egg, sometimes also steamed with zongzi in a pot. Some people like eating tea eggs after zongzi.

Sometimes, the shells of the boiled eggs are being put into net bags and hung around children’s necks. It’s believed that they bring the young ones good luck.


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Jiandui is a kind of fried cake eaten in eastern China’s Fujian Province, in commemoration of the Duanwu Festival. The cake is typically prepared from flour and sweet potato powder.

Written By:
Tumisang Mosito

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