This coming 6th June 2011 will be Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Jie) where all public services will be closed from June 4 (Saturday) to June 6 (Monday). This festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a famous poet in China who threw himself in a river and committed suicide. He was well loved by the people who went out to the river in dragon boats and threw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the river for the fishes to eat in order to keep his body from harm.
This culture is passed down generations amongst the Chinese with each year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, Chinese will consume bamboo wrapped rice dumpings (zongzi) and race dragon boats to commemorate the poet.
During 4th – 6th June 2011, you may want to participate in some of the activities happening in Shanghai:
1) To honour the poet, Qu Yuan, a poetry workshop hosted by the Garden Book welcome families to bring their children of 11 years old and above to the event. A great opportunity for the young generation to learn how to compose a poem for the festival.
2) Join a group of Canadian violinists on 4th June and immerse with jazz pieces, Celtic music and traditional Chinese pieces at the Shanghai Center.
3) At Thames Town in Songjiang, the Shanghai Dragon Boat Association is holding the Dragon Boat Race on 4th June.