Top 9 Food for Dragon Boat Festival

Written by Apple Updated Jun. 2, 2022

The Dragon Boat Festival was long marked as a cultural festival in China, which is celebrated in various ways in different regions. The traditional food for the dragon boat festival is zongzi. What other food do Chinese people eat at the Duan Wu Jie?

1. Zongzi



The most important traditional food for the Dragon Boat Festival is zongzi. A significant part of celebrating the festival is making and eating zongzi with families and friends.

Zongzi is sticky rice dumplings with different fillings wrapped by bamboo or reed leaves in the shape of a pyramid or cuboid. There are many different flavors of Zongzi. In northern China, zongzi is usually sweet stuffed with red beans or Chinese dates. While in southern China,  zongzi is salty with fillings of salted egg yolk and pork.

2. Jiandui - Fried Sesame Ball



 Jiandui, a traditional and popular Chinese classic dessert, is a type of fried Chinese pastry made from wheat and glutinous rice flour, with sesame on the surface. Inside the sesame, ball is a large hollow with a filling consisting of sweet bean paste, lotus seed paste, or peanuts.

In the east of China, almost every family eats jiandui on the Dragon Boat Festival.  You’ll also find jiandui at other festivals like the Lunar New Year.  

3. Tea Eggs

tea eggs

Tea Eggs

For the people in central China's Jiangxi Province, making and eating boiling eggs with tea is an old tradition at Dragon Boat Festival. In some regions, the eggs will be put into a net bag. It is believed that hanging the eggs on children's necks would bring them good luck.

The method of making tea eggs is to boil the eggs until they are cooked inside. Then the shell of each egg will be cracked all around and the eggs will be put into a spiced tea liquid and simmered over medium heat. 

4. Thin Pancakes

Thin Pancakes

Thin Pancakes

In cities along China's east coast, it is a custom to make and eat thin pancakes at Dragon Boat Festival. Thin pancakes are savory rolls with pork, cabbage, and other vegetable fillings inside a paper-thin pastry. 

Made from refined flour, this pancake is fried in a pan so that it becomes very thin and translucent. Diced fry-eggs, mushrooms, and green bean sprouts are placed on the pancake then rolled up.

5. Realgar Wine

Realgar wine is a traditional drink for Dragon Boat Festival. It is Chinese yellow wine dosed with powdered realgar.  

It is believed that drinking realgar wine at Dragon Boat Festival will dispel poisonous stuff and sickness. Some people sprinkle realgar wine around the house. These practices were kept for generations with the festivities honoring Quyuan, a patriotic poet of the Warring States Period.

6. Salted Duck Eggs

Salted Duck Eggs

Salted Duck Eggs

Salted duck eggs have a long time in China and are a popular food at Dragon Boat Festival in southern China.  

Salted duck eggs are usually boiled or steamed before being peeled and then shared with families as breakfast. Eating eggs with garlic is believed to promote health. 

7. Eel

Eel is another delicacy that people enjoy at Dragon Boat Festival in eels in central China. are farmed in polyculture rice fields and are fatty, tender, and rich in nutrition at that time of the season.

8. Dagao - Glutinous Rice Cake

Dagao is a kind of cake made of glutinous rice and mugwort. It is a sweet dessert in Northeast China's Jilin Province at Dragon Boat Festival. The glutinous rice is steamed with the herb mugwort. It is believed that eating mugwort at Dragon Boat Festival day would prevent disease. 

9. Five-Color Glutinous Rice

Five-color glutinous rice is a popular food at Dragon Boat Festival in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It consists of five kinds of rice of different colors: purple, black, red, yellow, and white. It is believed that the five-colored rice symbolizes a golden harvest of the year.

These are the most popular dishes for Chinese people to eat at Dragon Dragon Festival. Other regional food may include duck, mung bean cake, etc. The Dragon Boat Festival 2022 is coming, try to eat some traditional Chinese food for that festival.  

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