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What Makes Duanwu Festival Special?

For China's young people who are busy with their studies and career, the festival only reminds them of childhood memories

Wang, a 28-year-old editor of a publishing company, recalled that the festive mood in his youth was much stronger than today. "My family would boil lots of eggs," Wang said, "and I would bring them to school for a kind of whose-eggs-are-tougher competition - knocking the egg against another's to see which one survived."

For Qu, a graduate student in the China University of Political Science and Law, the festival takes her back to the days when a little girl prayed for the festival to come so that she could wear the five-colored threads.

But compared with the festival in memory, today's festival seems a little bit boring. Of the 20 youngsters Xinhua news agency reporters randomly polled in streets, more than half of them had forgotten the festival date. "I am so busy with my work that I almost forgot the day," one interviewee said. "My mom used to make zong zi for us. This year, I will have to buy some quick-frozen zong zi in super markets."

Anita, a 57-year-old American, like Chinese housewives, got up early today to buy the artemisia, zong zi and sachet in the morning market. She had invited her student in Hefei Industrial University to her home for the festival.

This was the sixth Duanwu festival Anita had celebrated in China. "In fact, I don't like this kind of sweet food, but I love the intimacy of the Chinese family and their patriotism," she said.

Iris, a 23-year-old Canadian woman, hopes to watch an exciting dragon boat race. She is now working in an American charity organization in Beijing. Iris said that Chinese traditional culture spreads its charm over the world. In her hometown, Toronto University has several dragon boat teams and attends competitions in different cities every year.

"But, some Chinese, especially the children, only know what to eat and what to do in the festival," she said. "They may not understand its deeper origin behind that."

DIY-Try Your Hand at Making zong zi


1、 1.5 kilograms of glutinous rice, or Jiang Mi, a handful of threads, 400 grams of mung beans without shells, a bag of quick-frozen chestnuts, and bamboo leaves (all available in Chinese supermarkets).

2、 Soak the rice, mung beans, and bamboo leaves in water for a day, and then remove the water.


1. Take one bamboo leave, and fold an edge up.

2. Fold the leave into the shape of a conical funnel.

3、Fill the funnel with glutinous rice, mung beans, and chestnuts in order, and then top them with a layer of mung beans. Don't stuff in too much filling, and leave some room for further steps.

4、 Wrap the dumpling up with another piece of bamboo leaf, making it a larger "funnel".

5、Add some glutinous rice till the 70 percent of the funnel is filled. Then, fold both sides of the leaves towards the centre.

6、Fold up the leave corners facing you.

7、 Fold down the outer leaves, and wrap the dumpling up with treads.

8、A fist-sized zong zi is finished.

9、 Put the zong zi into boiling water, and make sure that they are entirely soaked. Use high heat to boil them and change to a lower heat when the water is boiling again. The length of cooking time depends on the size of the zong zi. Generally, it will take about 2-3 hours.

10. Done! Be my guest!

From: Everything Chinese Portal

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