Chinese culture celebrated

Learning how to make glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi will be a feature of a Dragon Boat...
Learning how to make glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi will be a feature of a Dragon Boat Festival event taking place on Sunday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
A perfect blend of history, culture, and community takes place this weekend.

The Dunedin Senior Chinese Association is holding a dragon boat festival event on Sunday from noon till 2pm at the Dunedin Community House.

Dunedin Senior Chinese Association president Weidi Xu said the event would include a chance to enjoy Chinese tea-drinking culture.

There are many varieties of Chinese tea, especially green and white tea, and people who drink tea regularly can gain health benefits.

Drinking tea slowly while having a relaxed and pleasant conversation with friends is also a way to make and enhance friendships, she said.

The event will also include making and enjoying the "delicious" glutinous rice dumplings called zongzi.

"Let us dispel the cold of winter and feel the warmth of harmony in the tea-tasting activities," she said.

Mrs Xu said the dragon boat festival, also known as Double Fifth Festival, was an important festival in Chinese history.

Legend has it Qu Yuan, a poet from the Chu State during the Warring States Period, committed suicide by jumping into the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

Qu Yuan was loyal and patriotic but the king of Chu listened to the words of treacherous ministers.

After Qu Yuan jumped into the river, the residents threw rice wrapped in bamboo leaves (zongzi) into the river in order to prevent Qu Yuan’s body from being eaten by fish and prawns, and competed in dragon boat racing in the hope of finding Qu Yuan’s body.

Later generations regarded the dragon boat festival as a festival to commemorate Qu Yuan.