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The Dragon Boat Festival is one of China’s four main festivals and was celebrated this year on June 3. It commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and minister known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry and who eventually became a national hero.

During this festival, Chinese people will watch dragon boat racing, and they will make and eat sticky rice dumplings (zongzi) together with family and friends. Children will normally wear scented sachets threaded with five-colour silk string to ward off evil and stand an egg on its end to wish for the best luck of the year.

Last week, with some very helpful volunteers from our Chinese parents in the Junior School, our Years 3 to 6 boys who are learning Chinese made their own sticky rice dumplings, which they took home to show, cook and share with their families. It was a little tricky to make a dumpling just with a bamboo leaf and a string, but after lots of practice and some help, the boys mastered it.

The boys in Years 1 and 2 made their Zongzi-shaped fan. In China, when people celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, it is right in the middle of summer. A lovely fan will be handy.

The boys in Reception made their own sachet to wear, and they played the egg balancing game for their best luck of this year.

The boys enjoyed and loved the variety of this special celebration and now they know in the middle of winter in Australia is the Dragon Boat Festival in which you are supposed to eat soft, warm, and pure sticky rice dumplings.

Shelby Baker
Chinese Teacher – Junior School