It's Dragon Boat festival! Everybody back at home in Taiwan is on long vacation to celebrate Dragon Boat festival, the official first break as summer begins.
The festival made me crave for some 粽子 ZongZi, which is a typical food eaten at this holiday and time of the year. I actually didn't even love Zong Zi when I lived at home, but I guess this is the homesickness kicking in!
粽子 Zong zi is a glutinous rice ball, with different sorts of filling, wrapped in bamboo leaves. It's a traditional food for the Dragon Boat festival. The fillings contain pork, dried scallops, dates, peanuts, lotus nuts, mushrooms, and egg yolk. There are vegetarian options of just rice and peanuts. Zong Zi are generally steamed.
and NO, I did NOT make this. I bought it at my favorite Taiwanese restaurant in Houston, called Taiwan potato . There's a blog entry about our adventure at 芋仔番薯Taiwan potato some time ago....
Okay, so enough about the food ( but aren't all holidays all about the eating?) and some history about Dragon Boat Festival:
Dragon boat festival ( Duanwu festival) takes place on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. There's a legend about the festival commemorates the death of poet Qu Yuan. The poet committed suicide, by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the 5th day of the 5th month. Villagers who admired him threw food into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan's body. This is said to be the origin of 粽子 Zongzi, the rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. The local people were also said to have paddled out on boats, either to scare the fish away or to retrieve his body. This is said to be the origin of dragon boat racing.
Here's a REALLY CUTE illustrated story about the legend of 屈原 Qu Yuan Enjoy!
Image of Qu Yuan