The Dragon Boat Festival or Duānwǔ Jié (端午節) for 2010 falls on June 16, Wednesday and it's public holiday. In tradition, Chinese make Sticky (Glutinous) Rice Dumplings to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. In Taipei, the theme is "Health and Happiness at Taipei’s Riverside: The 2010 Taipei Dragon Boat Festival".The Taipei's International Dragon Boat Competition has been going on. I've been living in Taiwan for almost 8 years, but I never watch the race ever since. As far as I remember, the day of the championship is always raining, maybe a coincidence or I'm just too lazy to go out! :)
What is the relevance of Glutinous Rice Dumplings to Dragon Boat Festival?
There are many stories behind the Dragon Boat Festival and Glutinous Rice Dumplings but I would only re-tell what my Chinese teacher told us when I was still studying Mandarin Language. Long time ago, Qu Yuan, a 37 years old, famous Chinese Scholar drowned himself in a river by clasping a heavy stone on his chest. Since people knew that his a righteous man, they desperately searched the river in their boats but unsuccessfully, they didn't find him. Then people started throwing cooked rice in the river for Qu Yuan. However, one fisherman dream that Qu Yan did not get any cooked rice, instead the fish were the only eating the rice. So, they decided to make zong zi (粽子) or Glutinous Rice Dumplings to sink into the river hoping to reach Qu Yuan's body. That's how the wrapping of glutinous rice in bamboo leaves and racing of boat started.
Captured photos in a place where I live (Xizhi) Taipei County
Westerner called this Rice Dumplings or Chinese Tamales, since the main ingredient is glutinous rice. Added by pork, black mushroom, dry shrimps, and preserved egg yolk. Others added dried chestnuts or peanuts, and yam. The seasoning are soy sauce, sugar, pepper, spice oil, and five-spice powder.
Some Zong Zi available in Convenient Stores in Taiwan