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Huge crowds gather in Lukang, Changhua, to watch the fierce Dragon Boat Race, where teams of 20 rowers compete to the sound of beating drums which help them keep time.

The festival always falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar and involves poetry readings and other cultural exhibitions.

Why: The fest originates from the story of ancient poet, Qu Yan, who’s said to have drowned himself in the Miluo River to protest against the cruel government. People in the surrounding villages tried to rescue him by setting out in their boats, which eventually became the basis for the Dragon Boat Race.

Do it because: If you drink enough Hsiung Huang wine there, it’s thought to ward off evil spirits. Soak it up with a few traditional zongzi (rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves), which used to be dropped into the river for the fish in memory of Qu Yan.  

June 6  


Photo: Getty


Travel diary: Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan - June 6, 2013
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