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Shanghai Duanwu Gourmet Festival opens


June the 16th marks China's traditional festival of "Duanwu", internationally known as the Dragon Boat Festival. One week before the holiday, the festive mood is already growing strong. And in Shanghai, visitors are treated with authentic food at the Duanwu Gourmet Festival.

A festival won't be complete without delicious food. And for the Duanwu Festival, it's a must to eat rice dumplings, called Zongzi in Chinese. Veterans demonstrate how to make the pyramid-shaped dessert with glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves.

At first, nearly 23-hundred years ago, people would throw Zongzi into the water to protect a patriotic poet's body from being eaten by fish. His name is Qu Yuan and became memorialized after drowning himself in despair over his country's future. There have been dragon boat races each year ever since.

Visitor said, "I love Chinese culture. I have a great interest in the long history of China. I know the story of Qu Yuan. That's why I came here."

Duanwu is one of China's three biggest traditional festivals. Since 2007, Duanwu Festival has been set aside as a three-day national holiday. It's another effort from the government to protect the country's traditional culture.

Chen Bo, Organizer of Shanghai Duanwu Gourmet Festival, said, "This time, we've recovered many old popular activities of the Duanwu Festival. Only through such a vivid and interactive experience can visitors be drawn in to learn and like traditional culture."

Shanghai Tourism Bureau has offered a tour of Shanghai's gourmet restaurants on its official web site and in hotels for visitors and food lovers. Not only at the Yuyuan Garden where the festival is held, you can also taste the authentic flavor at the Shanghai World Expo.

Editor: Feng Hui