Tuesday's Taiwan-ism {Dragon Boat Festival}

Sometimes I have people tell me after reading my blog that "there are tons of festivals in Taiwan". In reality though, I'm not sure they have any more major festivals than what most western countries have holidays.

Largest Holidays Celebrated in Taiwan:

(Click each link below to learn more about the holiday)

Lucky for me out of this list of popular holidays and festivals in Taiwan there is only one on the list that I have missed to date and it's coming up on June 9th! Have no fear Taiwan...I will witness all of your holidays yet! You may have read my post earlier in the week about my training for dragon boat festival. Needless to say the boat racing is only one piece of this national holiday. Not having any idea what this holiday is about exactly, I put one of my co-workers to the test to find out for myself why we really weren't having school!

Dragon Boat festival is celebrate each year on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar (read more about their calendar HERE) falling on June 9 in the year 2016. The story around this holiday states that there was a famous poet by the name Qu-Yuan who was loved by many. When Qu-Yuan discovered that the emperor Zhou was going to be overthrown by the Qing, Qu-Yuan couldn't handle the news and threw himself into the river. Upon hearing this news emperor Zhou sent his men out on boats (presumably shaped like dragons?) to go and retrieve Qu-Yuan's body...Is this story true; I have no idea...is this the story Taiwanese like to tell surrounding this holiday; yes!

Other fun parts of this holiday {aside from the most popular activity of the races} include eating a type of glutenous rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves and filled with pork, small shrimp, nuts, or mushrooms called zhongzhi {think about a Chinese version of a small tamale but exchange everything corn for rice!} Also, children wear and are given small sachets (little bags) around their necks filled with fragrances and participate in egg standing (standing an egg on its end at 12 noon) as well as spending time with their families.

{1. Zhongzhi waiting to be sold and enjoyed 2. Desert Zhongzhi made by students at school 3. Zhongzhi for dinner after rowing practice 4. The desert Zhongzhi unwrapped; lime & green tea!}