Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

It was the first time Duanwu Jie -- celebrated in commemoration of the 3rd century Zhou Dynasty poet Qu Yuan -- was an official public holiday in mainland China, where workers got Monday off.

Of course, if stuff like this happen --

Nine Chinese villagers died and two were missing after they fell into a river in east China while watching a traditional Dragon Boat race from a rain-soaked embankment, state media said on Tuesday.

-- maybe this will also be the last time people get a day off.

People eat zhongzi the weekend of the festival because back in the day, villagers threw zhongzi -- sticky rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves -- into the river where Qu Yuan drowned so that the fish would spare the body. A quaint thing to do, but it's a good thing the zhongzi tradition has lived on: they're delicious.

I had a few of them on Friday at Jiujiu's:

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