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The Dragon Boat Festival

Celebrating the Confucian philosophy of Xiào...

The Dragon Boat Festival (known as duānwǔjié in Chinese) is a national holiday that occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. The festival celebrates the Confucian philosophy of xiào; this is a term that encourages respect for one's elders and ancestors. On the whole, xiào is about taking care of and respecting your parents through action and attitude. It also encourages the person to behave in a satisfactory manner outside of the familial home in order to promote respect for the family and ancestors.

It is customary on this day of the dragon boats, people to go to the local rivers and watch teams of paddlers race against each other in long boats decorated with dragon heads. Each team paddles as fast as they can, directed by the beat of a drum, turning sharply and drifting where necessary to secure first place. Throngs of people crowd every vantage point to catch a glimpse of the races. It truly is captivating to see and the atmosphere is electrifying.

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