Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday that falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. This year, Dragon Boat Festival was celebrated from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5.
In addition to mainland China, many other Asian countries and regions also celebrate this festival. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, and China, it is known as Bak Chang Festival (“Dumpling Festival”).
Dragon Boat Festival customs can be divided into two categories. One is to worship the god of dragon and heroes, such as Qu Yuan. The activities include dragon boat races and eating glutinous rice dumplings.
Another category aims to fend off evil and keep people healthy. The activities include bathing in herbal concoctions, hanging wormwood and calamus, and drinking realgar wine.
We checked in with our Vanguard Asia offices to learn more about how they celebrate this annual holiday.
Timothy Li, from the Vanguard Shanghai office, shared that Zongzi is definitely his family’s favorite food when celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival. In addition, there is usually crayfish and watermelon served alongside Zongzi.
We also checked in with Jensen Chou from the Vanguard Taiwan office to ask what foods are front and center for this holiday in his family.
“It is of course Zongzi, or glutinous rice dumpling. It was usually prepared by mothers in the family in the old days and was for sure a featured food during the Dragon Boat Festival. You can take anything as one of the ingredients, wrapping it together with glutinous rice, making it into different tastes, and cooking it in boiled water or steaming it.”
Zongzi are made of glutinous rice filled with meats, beans, and other fillings. They are wrapped in triangle or rectangle shapes within bamboo or reed leaves and tied with soaked stalks or colorful silky cords. The flavors of zongzi are usually different from one region to another across China
Jensen adds that nowadays, people enjoy Zongzi any time of the year. There are stores that sell it year-round.
In Indonesia, Regional Manager of SE Asia Yuyuh Sukmana echoes Jensen’s sentiment. His family also celebrates each year’s festival with a delicious feast of Zongzi.
From our entire Vanguard team, we hope everyone had a safe and healthy 2022 Dragon Boat Festival!