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The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the Duanwu Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday to celebrate Qu Yuan, a minister and a poet of the State of Chu situated in present-day Hunan and Hubei provinces, during the Warring States Period (475-221BC). It occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar. It falls on June 9th this year. Many traditional folk customs like eating zongzi, racing in a dragon boat competition, and visiting relatives will be held across the province. This holiday will provide ample chances for you to be involved in the tradition. Don’t miss it! 

Duanwu Festival Quiz Zongzi Dragon Boat Race Origin Friendly Tips Introduction Mugwort Leaves & Calamus Wearing Scented Sachets Drinking Realgar Wine Qu Yuan
Recommended Places to Enjoy Dragon Boat Festival in Hunan
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Yuanling: Home to Traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Race Long before the commemoration of Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), an ancient patriotic poet in Chinese history, dragon boat race was held in Yuanling in memory of Pan Hu, the ancestor of local Miao minority. It was characterized by numerous racing boats and rowers, large amount of audience, and a long time span.With a long history of several thousand years, Yuanling dragon boat races have been an indispensable part of the extensive and profound Xiangxi (West Hunan) traditional dragon boat culture with unique features.

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Fenghuang: Dragon Boat Racing for Ducks The dragon boat race is a traditional annual event in Fenghuang Ancient Town. It is held regularly 3 days before or after the dragon boat festival, near Huilong Pavilion on Tuojiang River. On the day of the event, each Miao village will send off strong men for the race. The most interesting part of the dragon boat race is scrambling for the duck.

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Miluo: Place of the Origin of Commemoration Qu Yuan Legend has it that the Miluo River is the place where Qu Yuan drowned himself. In memory of this patriotic poet, the locals threw Zongzi (rice dumplings) into the river on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Besides, large-scale dragon boat races would be held, for which Miluo River bustled with gongs and drums and numerous dragon boats.

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Guiyang: Worship before Dragon Boat Race Guiyang of Qidong County organizes dragon boat race every year during the Dragon Boat Festival. Before launching the boats, people should make a worship first. Led by a prestigious old man in the village, the drummer of the team raises a painted dragon head in front with the rowers lift the boat followed, praying for the harvest and peace of the year. After then, dragon boat race starts. During the race, the drummer sits in the middle part of the dragon boat, beating the drum in a changing tempo.

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Dongkou: Full of Lively Markets (Previously Known as "Small Nanjing") During the Dragon Boat Festival, Liaoshui River in Gaosha Ancient Town in Dongkou county of Shaoyang is extremely lively with drums and shouting. In the period of the Ming and Qing dynasty (1368-1912), Liaoshui River was filled with merchant ships coming and going. Ten gallery bridges like Taiping, Huilan, Shuinan and Fuxiang were full of visitors. Eight scenic spots in Gaosha and Shiyan were famous. Gaosha, as an important commerce and trade town with its prosperous long street, was reputed as "small Nanjing".

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Shiyan Lake Shiyan Lake is a 5-square-kilometer (500 hectares) scenic spot located in the junction of Changsha City, Zhuzhou City and Xiangtan City. Surrounded by mountains, it features dense forests, lofty peaks, green waters and clear springs. It is reputed to be "a natural oxygen park" and "a dream of citizens."

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Thousand-Dragon Ecosystem Vacation Village The vacation village has won prizes such as "national scenery zone", "agriculture tourism experiment", "international dragon-boating race standard zone", "five-star eco farm", "new 8 Xiaoxiang scenery spots". In 2005, 2006 and 2007, China Wangcheng Thousand-Dragon Lake International Dragon-boating inviting contest, first and second Changsha Countryside Travel Festival, National Fishing Champion of 2007 held at this vacation village.

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Weishui River in Ningxiang County Weishui River flows through Yutan Town in Ningxiang County. Every year local people will hold traditional dragon boat race on Weishui River. Come here to watch the dragon boat racing is a good way to get close to the natural world and have a recreation.

Other Celebrations Across Hunan
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Superman VS Batman to Greet Dragon Boat Festival

A Superhero Dragon Boat Race kicked off at Shiyan Lake Park on June 6, 2016. Tourists and park staffs in Superman and Batman costumes raced at the lake, to greet the coming Dragon Boat Festival.
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International Students Enjoy Making Zongzi

As Dragon Boat Festival is approaching, some Hanfu enthusiasts at University of South China taught international students to make Zongzi, a kind of sticky rice dumpling for the festival, at a Café in the campus on June 5, 2016. The international students were also presented with perfumed medicine bags as a folk tradition for the festival.
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Culture Week Themed on Duanwu Customs Along the Miluo River Kicks off

The city’s fantastic Duanwu (Dragon Boat Festival falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar) customs and 17 items of intangible cultural heritage programs were put on display at Miluo International Dragon Boat Race Center, offering audiences a cultural feast mingling traditional culture with modern art.
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Final of the 3rd Hunan Mass Dragon Boat Race Held in Changde

The Final of the Third Mass Dragon Boat Race themed on ‘Our · Dragon Boat Festival· Quyuan Cup 2016’ kicked off on Liuye Lake of Changde City.
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Invitation to 12th China (Miluo) International Dragon Boat Festival

During the upcoming festival, 12 teams will participate in tradition dragon boat tour performance and Miluo folk dragon boat race. A ceremony will be held in Qu Yuan Temple on the bank of Miluo River, where some students from Hunan Institute of Science and Technology will be conferred doctor’s, master’s or bachelor’s degree.
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No Toll Free Highways During Dragon Boat Festival

As Dragon Boat Festival is not included in the highway toll-free dates like Spring Festival, Tomb-sweeping Festival and National Day Holiday, passenger cars with seven seats or less have to pay highway tolls as usual.

E-mail:enghunan@hunan.gov.cn

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