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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dumpling Festival & Dragon Boat Festival

Today, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is Dumpling Festival which also coincides with the Dragon Boat Festival. According to legend, the tradition of eating dumplings and racing dragon boats was to commemorate Qu Yuan, a great scholar cum patriotic poet during the Warring States Period. (475-221 BC).

Qu Yuan was greatly saddened by king's refusal to listen to his advice which resulted in war. He took his own life by jumping into the Miluo River. To prevent the fishes from eating his body, Qu Yuan's friends and supporters made dumplings, set out in boats and threw them into the river so that the fishes would seek out the dumplings instead of his body. The dumplings were made of rice wraped in bamboo leaves.

To commemorate Qu Yuan, this custom is celebrated even to this day. Here, we hold prayers at home and eat dumplings. The dumplings are made of glutinuous rice with fillings of pork or chicken meat, mushrooms, chestnuts, salted eggs and dried shrimps. In Malaysia, the Nyonya or Peranakan community make blue coloured dumplings with peanuts, winter melon and dried shrimps fillings. The blue colour is obtained from the natural dye of the Butterfly Pea flower (Clitoria ternatea).

Annual dragon boat races are still being held all over China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and other overseas Chinese communities.

Some interesting related news from The Star:
1.  Exciting Eggs-periment During "Chang" Festival. Some people believe that eggs can stand on its end on the summer solstice, winter solstice, spring and autumnal equinox but scientist explains to the contrary.

2. Halal Dumpling Treat for Malay Friends - also details of making blue coloured dumplings, the dye from the flowers of the Butterfly Pea.

Today for ABC Wednesday,
V is for a
Very important Chinese festival
Very delicious dumplings

ABC Wednesday hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and the ABC Team of Denise, Roger, Jay, Troy, Barb, Gattina and Slyvia. To participate and view what others have in mind, please log on to this site.


  1. Oh... so blue colored dumpling is the tradition of Peranakan? I learn something :)

  2. Thanks for sharing such an interesting tradition from your culture with us! I would love to try some of those dumplings. They sound marvelous.

  3. Very fine V! The dumplings look marvelous and anything colored by the Butterfly Pea flower must be very good, indeed.

  4. We're celebrating Dumpling Festival today. Actually, I've been given lots of dumplings for the past week and now my fridge has bags of them. My husband and kids don't really like eating dumplings. I eat one everyday so it wouldn't go wasted as I hate throwing away food.

  5. sounds important...and delicious!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. My friend from KL gave us some of the Zhung Zhi, my son missed them so much that he ate 3. Perhaps I should make some.

  7. Thanks so much for your contribution - we learn so much each Wednesday don't you think?
    I try to visit as many contributors as possible each week but sometimes I just dont manage it, but we have a great ABC team and between us we see that everybody gets a comment. We are coming to the end of the current round and plans are in store for the next round, I do hope you will be part of the fun! If you would like to be part of the team just drop me an e-mail :-

    Denise Nesbitt
    ABC Wednesday founder & team member

    denisebydesigns at googlemail dot com


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