Are you ready for the races? Or, do you need to paddle faster? The festival that strikes a buzz within the city of Hong Kong is fast-approaching and it’s time to celebrate dragon boat style.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Tuen Ng Festival, is up and coming, so it’s time to talk traditions and how you can make your event a ‘boat-stopper’.
What does it take to host a Dragon Boat Festival themed event? Firstly, tailoring your event to include customs and traditions of the festival is a good starting point. Incorporating small and adaptable aspects of the tradition into your event will immerse your guests into the significance of the festival and what it represents. So, it’s time to hit the history books.
Back to where it all began…
Qu Yuan, a Chinese Official, who was also a patriotic poet, was exiled. He was overwhelmed with despair after hearing of his State’s defeat to the Qin State, that he drowned himself in the Miluo river in 278 BCE. The local community and fishermen were devastated by this news and they took to the river in an attempt to recover his body. They threw rice wrapped in bamboo leaves (Zongzi) into the river to feed the fish, so they did not feed off of Qu Yuan. People hit the water with paddles, beat drums and poured realgar wine into the river to poison monsters and protect Qu Yuan. Now, dragon boats race on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar calendar every year to pay homage to Qu Yuan.
Now, fast forward to your event…
Food is a huge part of any event – use it to your advantage. Eating Zongzi is a tradition, so why not serve it? Additionally, depending on the province, other foods are traditionally served, for example, eggs steamed with tea, thin pancakes, and Jiandui.
And, what’s food without the drink? Cue the realgar wine. It is an antidote for all poisons and is considered the most effective for killing insects and warding off evil spirits, making it the perfect ‘go-to’ wine for celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival.
Let’s talk decor. Why not hang mugwort leaves, calamus and wormwood on windows or doors? It is seasonal, makes for great decor and will bring some of the traditional festival spirits to your event, plus it repels any unwanted spirits. Don’t stop there, use them for centerpieces and have a D.I.Y. section where guests can arrange their own bouquet to take home with them.
Get creative and put a unique spin on traditional customs by revitalizing the tradition of wearing incense bags! It honors beliefs that they will help to avoid diseases and shield people from evil spirits, plus it is also a great gift idea.
Enhance festivities by becoming the bearer of good luck. It is believed that good luck will come from successfully standing an egg up on its tip at exactly noon. Create an ‘egg station’ and give guests the opportunity to receive good luck for the coming year. Better get practising your balance!
Dragon boat racing is a sport that requires beat, rhythm, and teamwork, incorporate these traditional tunes into your playlist, and create an upbeat vibe to your event!
Now, that you have your food and beverage, decor, activities and music for your ‘boat-stopping’ event, all you need is your ‘port’. Eaton Club has the perfect location and can cater to suit all your Dragon Boat Festival needs. Contact us today and you’ll be ready for the races!