Dragon Boat Festival 2021

Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duan Wu Festival, has been a traditional celebration in China for over 2,000 years. This begins on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. This celebration commemorates Qu Yuan; a Chinese Poet, Wu Zixu; a Chinese General and one of the largest rivers in the Zhejiang Province; Cao E. The festival originated in southern China but is now widely celebrated all over the country.

Dragon Boat racing is said to originate from the legend of people paddling out on boats to seek the body of the patriotic poet, Qu Yuan (343-278 BC) who tragically drowned himself in a river. The wooden boats used for the festival are shaped and decorated in the form of a traditional Chinese dragon, with the sizes of boats varying by region. Generally, an average boat measures 20-35 metres in length and requires 30-60 people to paddle it. During the races, dragon boat teams paddle harmoniously and hurriedly, accompanied by the sound of beating drums for encouragement. The legend states that the winning team will have good luck and live a happy life for the following year.

The main objective of the festival is to dispel disease, invoke good health and prepare for the upcoming months. Many Chinese households burn mugwort (Ai Ye) and herbs to cleanse their homes of evil, eat sticky rice dumplings (Zong Zi), drink realgar wine and wear perfume pouches.

With 2021’s festival getting underway on Monday 14th June, we’re celebrating with our homemade Zong Zi!

Zong Zi

It is essential to enjoy Zong Zi dumplings as part of the Dragon Boat Festival as a memorial to Qu Yuan and Wu Zixu. Although these are customary to the festival, these can be enjoyed all year round, with local provinces in China having their own varieties of dumplings.

Zong Zi is created using glutinous rice as the primary ingredient, with the wrapping made from bamboo or reed leaves. This makes Zong Zi distinct from other Chinese dumplings.

Our Zong Zi is made from Phoenix culinary herbs, with ingredients that are non-sulphur treated and free from pesticides and herbicides. For all to enjoy, we have made two delicious types of Zong Zi.


Meat Zong Zi

With a delicate taste, the meat Zong Zi is sure to be a hit with those who prefer a slightly salty/sweet flavour. The ingredients include

Da Hong Zao (Red Jujube Dates)

Hong Dou (Red Beans)

Lu Dou (Green Beans)

Dong Gu (Shiitake Mushroom)

La Rou (Chinese Bacon)


Vegetarian Zong Zi

For vegetarians and vegans alike, this Zong Zi offers a much sweeter flavour and is usually dipped in white sugar and eaten as a dessert! The ingredients include:

Da Hong Zao (Red Jujube Dates)

Hong Dou (Red Beans)

Lu Dou (Green Beans)

Hua Sheng (Peanuts)


For any additional information on making your own Zong Zi, please click here for the full recipe. You can also buy all of our culinary herbal ingredients here.

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