Take Part in One of China’s Oldest Traditions During Nanjing’s Dragon Boat Festival

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Annual cultural event is a great reason to #GoToNanjing June 16 – 18

The Dragon Boat Festival is one of China's oldest traditions, dating back more than 2,500 years, and Nanjing is one of the top destinations where visitors can take part in the festivities taking place June 16 – 18. Races are held in Mochou Lake Park, where scores of spectators gather to watch teams compete and take part in traditional customs. Here are the top experiences not to miss during this year’s festival:

Remember Chinese Poet Qu Yuan
There are a few theories about the origination of dragon boat racing in China. One of the most common stories is that the festival originated from the death of patriotic poet Qu Yuan (34 – 278 B.C.) Qu Yuan was a top advisor in the Kingdom of Chu and spent his life in service to the state. After being slandered by jealous officials, he was exiled. During his exile, he wrote many poems about his love of his country. Upon learning the Chu state had been conquered, he drowned himself in the Miluo River in despair. Distraught locals rowed out into the river to search for him, and the legend of the Dragon Boat Festival Began.

Eat Traditional Foods
During the festivities, revelers also enjoy traditional festival food which is sold by vendors near the main events. The most popular food is zongzi, a rice dumpling flavored with nuts and wrapped inside bamboo leaves.

Wear Perfume Pouches
Before the Dragon Boat Festival arrives, Chinese parents usually prepare perfume pouches for their children. To make your own, fill a small colorful cloth bag with perfumes or herbal medicines then string them around your neck with silk threads to protect yourself from evil.

Cheer On the Teams
Dragon boats can be more than 100 feet long and carry as many as 60 rowers. This makes for a tremendous amount of action when races are taking place on the water. Dragon boat teams paddle harmoniously, accompanied by the sound of beating drums. Visitors can pick their favorite team and cheer them along, as the winning team is said to be bestowed with good luck throughout the following year.

Chinese cities can be quite busy during the Dragon Boat Festival, so it is advisable to work with a trusted travel professional to secure reservations, guide service, and admission to events and tourism sites of interest during this time. For a list of tour operators serving the North American market and their packages, please visit http://www.gotonanjing.com/packages.

About Nanjing
Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province is situated in the Yangtze River Delta area 190 miles northwest of Shanghai. Recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Nanjing has served as the capital city of 10 Chinese dynasties and regimes for a total of more than 1,800 years. A sophisticated metropolis and a modern center of history, education, and culture, Nanjing is home to some of the country’s most significant historical attractions such as the Xiaoling Tomb of the Ming Dynasty, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, The Presidential Palace, and a City Wall, which dates back more than 600 years. Popular attractions also include China’s oldest public library and one of the country’s first museums, the Nanjing Museum.

Nanjing is accessible by Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) with daily flights from North America. Three train stations – Nanjing Railway Station, Nanjing South Railway Station, and Nanjing West Railway Station – connect Nanjing to all of China’s major cities, including Shanghai, which is a 90-minute ride via bullet train or three hours by car.

For more information on Nanjing please visit http://www.GoToNanjing.com.

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Ashley Norman
PHG Consulting
+1 (646) 465-9775
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