Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong

Dragon Boat Festival – the 5th day of May in the Chinese calendar, falls on the 6th day of June in 2011. It is an important festival in Chinese tradition. In Hong Kong, the two most important traditions are the eating of Rice Dumplings and Dragon Boat Races.

It is a festival in memory of the patriot poet Qu Yuan who committed death exhortation to the emperor by drowning himself in 277 BC. The origin of rice dumplings were meant to be thrown into the water so fishes eat the dumplings and won’t eat the body of Qu Yuan. Likewise, the dragon boats were there to create noises to scare away the fishes.

Grand Dumplings (裏蒸糉) - with lots of stuffing

Alkaline Water Dumplings (碱水糉) - on the right hand side, yellow in color

If you were a food lover, you may want to know that there are three major categories of sticky rice dumplings to be eaten at Tuen Ng Festival, which is also known as the Dragon Boat Festival. The default dumplings (咸肉糉) were generally made of sticky rice, boiled green bean with stuffing of stewed pork and typically a salty egg yolk. The grand dumplings (裏蒸糉) are usually larger in size and have more stuffing like mushrooms, chicken and many others. The sweet dumplings are named alkaline water dumplings (碱水糉) in Chinese, usually with some lotus seed paste as stuffing. They are generally longer and slimmer in shape.

Unlike other festival foods, rice dumplings are available in restaurant throughout the year. Of course, most people would love to eat them around Tuen Ng Festival. Some people made them at home, some choose to eat at restaurants. I am someone in between. I bought them as take-away and eat at home. Here were the default dumplings that I ate at home yesterday, which was the day of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Click here to find out how rice dumplings are made.
Just a few photos on dragon boat race

Participants compete in a dragon boat race to mark the annual Tuen Ng or Dragon Boat Festival at Hong Kong's Aberdeen fishing port June 6, 2011. The festival is commemorated in memory of Chinese patriotic poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself on the day in 277 B.C.
(photo source: news.nationalpost.com)

Click here to find out more about Dragon Boat Race in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Travel Blog - Dragon Boat Festival