The Dragon Boat Festival (aka Double Fifth Festival) is a special time of year, during which Taiwan gets a major holiday vacation and there are Dragon Boat Races. During this time, people also must eat Zongzi. We have created this guide for you to see the official dragon boat races all around Taiwan and understand more about this special cultural festival.
Originally Dragon Boat Festival may have started during the Qin Dynasty as a day to remove evil spirits and bad luck that were thought to appear on the fifth day of the fifth month.
The best known origin story for the Dragon Boast Festival is that it commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a famous poet and official of the Chu Dynasty during the Warring States Period. He opposed the Chu Dynasty joining an alliance with the Qin, and therefore was banished. When the Qin Dynasty finally took over the Chu Dynasty, he committed suicide by entering the Miluo River (汨羅江 Mìluójiāng) and drowning himself.
It was said that the local people went looking for him by rowing dragon shaped canoes, and threw sticky rice balls into the water so that the fish would eat the rice and not Qu Yuan's body. Because of this, during Dragon Boat Festival everyone eats stick rice, or Zongzi, and holds dragon boat races to commemorate Qu Yuan's memory.
Another tradition is for people to balance eggs, which is thought to bring good luck during the "unlucky" holiday.
Dragon Boat races usually involve a team rowing together, while someone beats a drum to keep rhythm and someone else stands at the front of the boat to catch the flag.
Dragon Boat Festival is an official holiday in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, China, and is celebrated by Chinese heritage communities throughout Asia and the world.
When is Dragon Boat Festival?
The fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.
2020: June 25th
2021: June 14th
2022: June 3rd
2023: June 22nd
2024: June 10th
2025: May 31st
When are Dragon Boat Races in Taiwan?
Training starts about a month before Dragon Boat Festival
The actual races begin a few days before or on Dragon Boat Festival, and can last a few days after as well. Races usually last the whole day.
Where are Dragon Boat Races in Taiwan?
Taipei International Dragon Boat Championships: 國際龍舟錦標賽
Dates: (June 25-June 26 2020)
Location: Dajie Riverside Park 大佳河濱公園 (under Dazhi Bridge going to Neihu near the airport along the Keelung River. There is parking at the riverside park, but it can get very crowded late in the day).
Tainan International Dragon Boat Championships: 台南市國際龍舟賽 (June 23-June 25)
Dates: (June 25-June 26 2020)
Location: Yunhe River in Tainan Between Anyi Bridge and Chengtian Bridge, near Anping Old Street 臺南市運河（安億橋至承天橋河段）
Kaohsiung Love River Dragon Boat Festival: 高雄愛河端午龍舟嘉年華
Dates: (Cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19)
Location: The Love River between Kaohsiung Bridge and Zhongzheng Bridge (愛河， 高雄橋-中正橋).
Changhua Taiwan International Dragon Boat Races 台灣國際競技龍舟錦標賽
Dates:(Cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19)
Location: Lukang, along the FuLu River near Lukang Old Street (彰化福鹿溪水域)
Yunlin Dragon Boat Races 雲林龍舟賽
Dates: (June 25-June 26)
Location: Kouhu Township, Yiwu Wet Pond at the north pond (本縣口湖鄉宜梧滯洪池北池)Price:
Please see below for a map of dragon boat racing locations.
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