Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival in Macau
With thousands of dragon boat racers competing on Macau’s scenic Nam Van Lake and the festive delicacy of zongziA locally popular sticky rice dumpling wrapped in reed leaves, the traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival have been well preserved in the Macau Special Administrative Region.
Different groups of dragon boat racers from across Macau gathered on Friday to test their physical prowess, skills and team spirit as the gongs and drums of the annual Macau International Dragon Boat Races echoed through the air. above the lake.
The races, which lasted all day, attracted many visitors sitting on temporarily set up chairs or standing by the lake, despite intermittent rain.
Pun Weng-kun, chairman of the Macao SAR Government Sports Office, said the races embrace the cultural heritage of the Dragon Boat Festival and have become an annual large-scale sporting event in Macao.
“We hope to raise the standards of the local dragon boat competition, enrich the leisure life of residents, and give tourists an experience of Macao’s unique ‘sports + tourism‘ atmosphere, especially in the context of a control epidemic,” Pun said.
Yeung Ging-wing, one of the runners, said he really enjoyed the lively atmosphere of the dragon boat races.
“In addition, running can help us stay healthy while promoting traditional Chinese culture.”
The Dragon Boat Festival is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the Chinese calendar.
In 2022, the festival fell on Fridays.
On the program of the festival, the people of Macao have kept the tradition of eating zongzi. Every year around this time, Lan Heong-kuok, a typical Cantonese tea house located in the old town of the Macau Peninsula, transforms its first floor into a workshop.
employees do zongzi on the spot with fillings of pork, beans and salted egg yolk, and set them on rows of iron grills to display them, making quite a sight.
“Our zongzi sell very well every year,” said Chan Zi-wai, whose father founded the restaurant 59 years ago.
“We have kept the traditional method of manufacturing zongzi by the hand. Customers love the way it is. We mainly sell to local residents, but tourists also come here.”
A Macau resident named Choi said that she recently came to the restaurant to buy zongzi more than one time.
“They offer different varieties of zongzi here,” Choi said.
“I bought zongzi not only for my own family, but also for friends as gifts.”
The Polytechnic University of Macao organized a zongzi workshop, inviting experienced chefs to teach students from Portuguese-speaking countries, including Brazil and Cape Verde, how to prepare festive food.
Jociney, one of the students, said the experience of learning to do zongzi helped him better understand traditional Chinese culture and also facilitated cultural exchange between students from different countries.