China Goes on 2014 Duanwu Holiday

The Chinese festival Duanwu falls on June 2 (Monday) this year. The official holiday in China will be celebrated with a long weekend.

Duanwu refers to the fifth day of the fifth month in the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. The festival comes around summer solstice to mark an important point in the march of time in a given year. Among the activities that take place on Duanwu is eating a special treat called zongzi, which is sticky rice wrapped in reed leaves. Another way to celebrate is dragon boat races, and that is why in some areas the festival is also known as longzhou jie - "Dragon Boat Holiday". According to legends, the origin of the holiday was related to the deadth of Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet who lived 2,500 years before our time. Depaired of the chaos in his country, Qu Yuan ended his life by threw himself into a river. This, some people say, account for the water-related activities associated with Duanwu.