China Will Be on Duanwu Holiday on June 10-12

Known as the Dragon Boat Festival in the West, the Chinese holiday Duanwu is the fifth day of the fifth month of the traditional lunar calendar. In 2013, the holiday falls on June 12 (Wednesday) according to the Western Gregorian calculation. Duanwu being a national holiday in China, the Chinese would have three days off, from June 10 through June 12 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). June 8 and 9, the weekend preceding the three-day celebration, will be work days.

According legend, Duanwu started in the 2rd century B.C., as part of memorial service to mark the death of Qu Yuan, an upright official and talented poet who, despaired of conditions in his countries, committed suicide by throwing himself into a river. Dragon boat races and the eating of zongzi (rice wrapped in reed leaves) are said to have their origins in the local people’s effort to save Qu Yuan from the river.

The holiday is now recognized not only in China but also in other East Asian and some Southeast Asian countries.