Dragon Boat Festival Activities Conducted Across China

The staff members of Union Church in Guangzhou, Guangdong held wrapped zongzi or rice dumplings in their hands on June 9, 2024.
The staff members of Union Church in Guangzhou, Guangdong held wrapped zongzi or rice dumplings in their hands on June 9, 2024. (photo: Guangdong CC&TSPM)
By John ZhangJune 13th, 2024

Churches and Christian organizations across China carried out events to celebrate the traditional Dragon Boat Festival.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the Duanwu Festival, falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the Chinese calendar (on June 10 this year). People celebrate it to commemorate a great patriotic poet named Yuan Qu by eating rice dumplings (also called zongzi) and racing dragon boats.

During the Dragon Boat Festival, the Union Church in Guangzhou, Guangdong, organized a zongzi-making event for its congregants, said Guangdong CC&TSPM. On June 9, after worship, the church distributed these zongzi to the attendees and those in need in the community.

On June 8, Xiangmi Lake Church and Shatoujiao Church in Shenzhen jointly held a Dragon Boat Festival event at Xiangmi Lake Church, reported Guangdong CC&TSPM. The event, organized by pastoral mentoring groups, featured a zongzi-making competition divided into 12 teams. After intense competition, the judges selected the groups that made the most, the fastest, and the most beautiful zongzi within the allotted time, with awards presented to the top three teams.

After making zongzi, the congregants sang hymns to praise God. Rev. Lei Yuming, executive vice president of the Guangdong Christian Council, was invited to share a sermon titled "Patriotic Prophets." He spoke about the Old Testament prophets who cared for their country and people, inspiring Christians to love their country and nation.

On May 31, Yushui Church in Xinyu, Jiangxi, held a festival cultural event, said Jiangxi CC&TSPM. Rev. Li Yungen, president of Jiangxi Bible School, demonstrated how to make zongzi and explained the history and cultural significance of the festival. After the festival dinner, several pastors together wove egg nets and held a birthday party for the church staff members who had birthdays in the first half of the year.

A group of rural orphans aided by the faith-based Amity Foundation and their friends participated in campus activities launched by the foundation and Bilibili Charity, said the foundation. They applied realgar, made zongzi, wove colorful cords, and painted eggs. In the interaction area, the children celebrated the festival with Bilibili by hand-painting "Amity Little Lamb Aili" and "Bilibili Little TV," winning blind box gifts.

On June 5, Shanghai YMCA’s branch in Puhui-Sunshine, Dapuqiao Street, held a special event. The teacher introduced the origins and traditional customs of the festival to the participants, narrated the story of Qu Yuan (a Chinese poet and aristocrat in the State of Chu), and explained the historical background of the festival. She also introduced the "Five Yellows" of the Dragon Boat Festival: yellow eel, yellow croaker, cucumber, salted duck egg yolk, and realgar wine, along with related customs such as making zongzi, dragon boat racing, and hanging mugwort.

On June 5, at the Yizhujia Elderly Day Care Center affiliated with Shanghai YMCA, the elderly made zongzi and crafted mugwort bouquets and sachets.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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