Shanxi's Dragon Boat Festival folk activities


The Dragon Boat Festival, a traditional Chinese festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month every year. It boasts a history of over 2,000 years and has been listed as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage item.

Wearing sachets, hanging wormwood, eating zongzi, and rowing dragon boats... All kinds of folk customs and traditional activities add to the festive atmosphere during the three-day holiday. What other folk activities does Shanxi have?


People make zongzi. (Photo/Shanxi Economic Daily)

Steaming tiger buns

People in Yuncheng, southern Shanxi, have a folk custom of steaming tiger buns to welcome the Dragon Boat Festival. Tiger buns, with its unique local characteristics, represent people a way to worship ancestors and pray for peace and auspiciousness.

Eating lianggao

Lianggao is a local specialty snack in Datong, usually only made by people around the Dragon Boat Festival. Made of glutinous rice, regular rice, red dates, raisins, honey dates, and bamboo leaves, lianggao is similar to zongzi in taste, but more sweet and fresh.

Dying fingernails

In the southern region of Shanxi, it is popular for women to dye their nails with impatiens flower during the Dragon Boat Festival. They crush the petals of the flower with alum, cover their nails with it, and wrap it with mulberry leaves and multicolored threads. After waiting all night, the nails will be red and bright.

Visiting temple fairs

During the festival, some places hold temple fairs. Shouyang county, for example, traditionally holds the Yangpo Temple Fair, which is highly regarded and of a grand scale. In addition, opera is performed at the Xuandi Temple in Fanzhi county, while Yanggao county has the custom of strolling along the city walls.