Dragon Boat Festival in China 2024

Event Date:

June 10, 2024

Event Time:

12:00 am

Event Location:

Yangtze River

Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which is in late May or June on the Gregorian calendar. In 2024, Dragon Boat Festival falls on June 10 (Saturday). China will have 3 days of public holiday from Saturday (June 8) to Monday (June 10).

Dragon Boat Festival is one of the four top traditional Chinese festivals, along with the Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, and Mid-Autumn Festival.

In addition to Chinese mainland, many other Asian countries and regions also celebrate this festival. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Taiwan, China, it is known as Bak Chang Festival (‘Dumpling Festival’). Learn more facts about the Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival: A Time-Honored Tradition in China

China’s rich tapestry of cultural celebrations is adorned with vibrant festivals that reflect centuries of tradition and heritage. Among these, the Dragon Boat Festival stands out as one of the most cherished and iconic events, celebrated with gusto and fervor across the country. With its origins deeply rooted in legend and history, the Dragon Boat Festival offers a fascinating glimpse into Chinese culture and folklore.

Origins and Legends

The Dragon Boat Festival, known as Duanwu Festival in Chinese, has a history that spans over 2,000 years. Its origins are steeped in mythology and folklore, with several legends surrounding its inception. One of the most prominent stories is that of Qu Yuan, a revered poet and minister of the ancient Chu kingdom during the Warring States period.

According to legend, Qu Yuan was a loyal and patriotic statesman who fell out of favor with the king due to political intrigue. In despair over the state of his homeland, Qu Yuan threw himself into the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The local people, deeply saddened by his death, raced out in their boats to save him, beating drums and splashing water to keep evil spirits away. To prevent Qu Yuan’s body from being consumed by fish, they also threw rice dumplings, known as zongzi, into the river.

Traditions and Customs

Today, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, typically falling in June on the Gregorian calendar. It is marked by a myriad of customs and traditions, each carrying its own symbolic significance.

The most iconic tradition of the festival is the dragon boat races, where teams paddle ornately decorated boats to the beat of drums, emulating the rescue efforts for Qu Yuan. These exhilarating races attract spectators from far and wide, who gather along riverbanks to cheer on their favorite teams and revel in the festive atmosphere.

Another integral aspect of the Dragon Boat Festival is the consumption of zongzi, pyramid-shaped rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and filled with sweet or savory fillings. Eating zongzi is a symbol of commemorating Qu Yuan’s sacrifice and warding off evil spirits. Families also hang fragrant herbs, such as mugwort and calamus, on their doors to ward off disease and bring good fortune.

Regional Variations

While the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated nationwide, each region in China has its own unique customs and traditions associated with the holiday. In southern China, particularly in provinces like Guangdong and Guangxi, the festival is celebrated with grandeur, featuring elaborate dragon boat races and vibrant street parades. In contrast, northern regions like Beijing and Hebei may focus more on family gatherings and the consumption of traditional foods.

Modern Celebrations

In recent years, the Dragon Boat Festival has evolved beyond its traditional roots to become a global phenomenon. Dragon boat races are now held in cities around the world, attracting participants of diverse cultural backgrounds. This international embrace of the festival not only showcases China’s cultural heritage but also fosters cross-cultural exchange and understanding.


The Dragon Boat Festival stands as a testament to China’s rich cultural heritage and enduring traditions. From its mythical origins to its modern-day celebrations, the festival continues to captivate the hearts and minds of people around the world. As we commemorate the heroic spirit of Qu Yuan and the unity of the Chinese people, let us also embrace the values of loyalty, camaraderie, and resilience embodied by this beloved holiday.

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  • Yangtze River
  • Jingzhou
  • China

Event Schedule Details

  • June 10, 2024 12:00 am   -   June 11, 2024 12:00 am
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