Dragon Boat Festival around the world in 2021

Dragon Boat Festival around the world in 2021

  Dates of Dragon Boat Festival around the world
2022 Various Jun 3
ChinaFri, Jun 3National Holiday
Hong KongFri, Jun 3National Holiday
MacauFri, Jun 3National Holiday
TaiwanFri, Jun 3National Holiday
2021 Various Jun 14
ChinaMon, Jun 14National Holiday
Hong KongMon, Jun 14National Holiday
MacauMon, Jun 14National Holiday
TaiwanMon, Jun 14National Holiday
2020 Various Jun 25, Jun 26
China Jun 25, Jun 26
ChinaFri, Jun 26National Holiday (additional day)
ChinaThu, Jun 25National Holiday
Hong KongThu, Jun 25National Holiday
MacauThu, Jun 25National Holiday
Taiwan Jun 25, Jun 26
TaiwanFri, Jun 26National Holiday (additional day)
TaiwanThu, Jun 25National Holiday
2019 Various Jun 7
ChinaFri, Jun 7National Holiday
Hong KongFri, Jun 7National Holiday
MacauFri, Jun 7National Holiday
TaiwanFri, Jun 7National Holiday
2018 Various Jun 18
ChinaMon, Jun 18National Holiday
Hong KongMon, Jun 18National Holiday
MacauMon, Jun 18National Holiday
TaiwanMon, Jun 18National Holiday
The Tuen Ng Festival, otherwise known as the Dragon Boat Festival, has been celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth moon for millennia
  Which countries observe Dragon Boat Festival in 2021?
  ChinaJun 14National Holiday
  Hong KongJun 14National Holiday
  MacauJun 14National Holiday
  TaiwanJun 14National Holiday

When is the Dragon Boat Festival?

The Tuen Ng Festival, otherwise known as the Duanwu or Dragon Boat Festival, has been celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar for millennia.

Traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival

Legend has it that the holiday honours the tragic death of Chu Yuan, who died in 288 BC. At the time of Warring States, Chu Yuan was a poet and the minister of the state. The King was captured during fighting and in honour and remembrance of the old King, Chu Yuan wrote a poem called “Li Soa.” This angered the new King, who ordered Chu Yuan into exile. Instead of leaving his beloved country, Chu Yuan threw himself into the Mi-Lo River.

The legend proclaims that the people tried to rescue their honoured statesmen by chasing him down the river, beating drums to scare away the fish and throwing dumplings into the river so that the fish would not eat his body. Today’s celebrations symbolize the vain attempts of the friends and citizens who raced down the river to save Chu Yuan.

The Dragon Boat Festival is also known as poets day as Chu Yuan is widely regarded as China’s first poet. Chu spent his time in exile writing poems to express his anger and sadness.

How is Dragon Boat Festival celebrated?

Today’s celebrations symbolize the vain attempts of the friends and citizens who raced down the river to save the respected Chu Yuan. There are half a dozen sites in Hong Kong today that participate in the dragon boat races.

A dragon boat is a huge war canoe traditionally made from teak that has a dragon’s head carved into the bow and a dragon’s tail carved at the stern. The boats can range up to 100 feet in length and seat anywhere from 20 to 80 paddlers, varying in size. A sacred ritual is held before the race when the eyes are painted on, which is said to "bring the boat to life." A drummer who sits mid-boat and keeps the time of the oar strokes on a huge drum accompanies all boats.

The dragon boat races are daylong events. All kinds of organizations from around the globe such as police, fireman, army, embassies, and even local journalists unions, travel to Hong Kong and enter teams for the races.

A gunshot sets the boats off and the beating drums and cymbals from the crowded shores fill the harbours with noise. The races last all day; on the shores of Hong Kong people celebrate with lively song and dance, rooting on their team.

It is believed that the Dragon Boat Festivals repel evil and bring luck in the summer months.


It seems like you can't have an important south-eastern Asian festival without some form of rice dumplings and Dragon Boat is no exception. A popular tradition associated with the Dragon Boat Festival is eating sticky rice dumplings called zongzi.

They are often given out as small gifts during the festival and are available from most shops.

The rice is wrapped in bamboo or lotus leaves and the rice is flavoured depending on the region. In the north of China, the dumplings are usually sweet; while in the south of China, the zongzi are more typically savoury. In Taiwan, they may be made with peanuts, chestnuts and squid.

About a week after the festivals in Hong Kong, special International Dragon Boat Races are held all over Asia and the United States. In the U.S., they can be found in Boston, New York, and Colorado. Currently, there are 68 countries which are members of the International Dragon Boat Federation, showing the popularity of the race.

In 2009, this festival was inscribed on UNESCO’s list representing the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

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