This year Dragon Boat Festival falls on this coming Monday 2 June 2014 which is today! There are a few versions of how the history came about. For what I learnt at school it is about Qu Yuan. He was a poet and minister (c. 340–278 BC) of the ancient state of Chu. To cut the long story short, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River. The local people raced out to save him but was unable to do so. So they dropped balls of sticky rice (dumpling) into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body.
If you would like to find watch the Dragon Boat race, do pop by to Brindleyplace Dragonboat Festival. They are celebrating the 15th anniversary this year by setting an ambitious fund-raising target of £50,000 which will be donated to local charity HelpHarryHelpOthers. The race will take place on 28th June 2014, with 20 teams competing in a series of heats in traditional Chinese longboats from Pitcher and Piano, The Water’s Edge in Brindleyplace, to the winning post at The NIA.
Growing up in Singapore I always associated dumplings with the festival as my grandma, my mum and aunties were always gathered around and wrapping them for the festival. But as time passed, dumplings became a very common snack in Singapore which you can get throughout the year.
Dumpling is made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves. The fillings could be: plain, chestnuts, chicken, Chinese sausage, pork, cooked peanuts, salted egg yolk etc.
In Singapore the dumpling ingredients are identified by the colour of the string wrapped around it. These photos were took by my uncle who shared with us some delicious dumplings! So, if you go to Singapore, try them out! They are not to everyone’s cup of tea but I love them! They are very fragrant and delicious!
We run a Chinese session to teach the children about Dragon Boat Festival & Dumpling at our Lichfield Mandarin Club.