Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 (dyun1 ng5 zit3) is one of the traditional Chinese festivals, and falls on the fitth day of the fifth month of the Lunar Calendar. Legend has it that this day is to commemorate the death of 屈原 (wat1 jyun4) aka Qu Yuan and this day is public holiday in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and since 2008, it is also a public holiday in China in a bid to boost traditional culture (Source: wiki).
As 屈原 wat1 jyun4 died tragically (learn more in the videos below), we do not wish one another 端午節快樂 dyun1 ng5 zit3 faai3 lok6 Happy Dragon Boat Festival, but instead say 端午節安康 dyun1 ng5 zit3 ngon1 hong1 (Good health and peace).
Today, Dragon Boat Festival is synonymous with Glutinous Rice Dumplings (糉 zung2) and Dragon Boat Racing (賽龍舟coi3 lung4 zau1).
Learn more about Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 (dyun1 ng5 zit3) through these stories – books, cartoons, videos and animations.
(Please note that 屈原 wat1 jyun4 had committed suicide, and this is mentioned in a number of videos, hence you have to decide if the videos are suitable for your kids. )
1. Book Readings in Cantonese
This is my favorite book because 1) I have it, 2) it is specific to Hong Kong.
This one has pop up!
This one by Little Bean has vocabulary lessons at the end of the story.
2. Cantonese cartoon/ animation
PDF of this story can be downloaded here.
3. More About Dragon Boat Festival
4. Cantonese songs
Lyrics printable (with and without Jyutping) for 氹氹轉菊花園 Spinning Round the Chrysanthemum Garden available for free download here.
New original composition 端午歌 by 天晴童謠 Sunshine Nursery Rhyme
Another cute song with lyrics
5. Making Dumplings
A staple food during Dragon Boat Festival!
Lots of videos in Cantonese on making dumplings! Or you could do a search for English videos on YouTube.
Or check out Fortune Cookie Mon’s Blog post on How to Make Cantonese-Style Rice Dumplings with Kids (English)
6. Dragon Boat Race
Learn more about Dragon Boat Racing tradition in this video
Watch this Dragon Boat Race at Aberdeen.
7. Cantonese Vocabulary
Download the three-pager Dragon Boat Festival Vocabulary Cantonese FREE Printable.
And cute video by Twinklebots with vocabulary for kids, as well as folding an origami Dragon Boat
Choose from many different dragon boat templates to make.. for lots of fun!
Dragon Boat 龍舟/龍船 by Hing hing Sone Sone – video in Cantonese. Templates available on here. (Scroll down to middle of page)
Dragon Boat by Locy Lee Learning. Template available on her website.
Dragon Boat by Michigan Cantonese Storytime
Also sharing two (English) blog posts by Fortune Cookie Mom on the Dragon Boat Festival:
- Chinese Art & Crafts: Origami Paper Rice Dumplings
- 10 Best Ways to Celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival with Your Kids
9. Worksheets and Printables
Chinese Practice sheets by Michigan Cantonese Storytime
A great resources to learn the key vocabulary and learn how to write it.
A 13-page Dragon Boat Activity Pack available for download during the month of Dragon Boat Festival (they have a new resources every month) – both Simplified and Traditional Chinese available.
Dragon Boat Game from Michigan Cantonese Storytime
Ms Panda Chinese offers a free ebook that also doubles up as a colouring book. Available in Traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese.
These readers are from a series of elementary readers written in Traditional Chinese and English for the Cantonese Chinese in America in the 1970s. The series was designed to familiarize children with the traditional major Chinese festivals celebrated by the Cantonese Chinese in America. Dragon Boat Festival by Gordon Lew, describes the celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival, which marks the beginning of summer. A brief background to the festival is provided in English. Looks cute to be used as a colouring book for younger children. The Chinese is handwritten.
If you have an advanced reader, you can also check out these stories/ passages by Huayu World from Taiwan. The passages are in Traditional Chinese. You can read on screen, or download the PDFs. Scroll down for Dragon Boat Festival.
11. Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong
Learn more about Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong via these blogposts:
- 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Dragon Boat Festival by Timeout Hong Kong
- A Brief History Of Dragon Boat Racing by Culture Trip
- 2019 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival – Races, Tradition and Rituals by Next Stop Hong Kong
- Where to join a dragon boat team in Hong Kong (2020) by Hong Kong Living
- Dragon Boat Festival / Tuen Ng : Guide to History, Culture and Traditions by Hong Kong Fast Facts
12. An interesting saying
Have you ever come across this saying?
未 食 五 月 糭，寒 衣 未 入 櫳
mei6 sik6 ng5 jyut6 zung1 ，hon4 ji1 mei6 jap6 lung4
This translates literally to “If you haven’t eaten fifth month rice dumplings yet, don’t pack away your winter clothes”. This is because in Hong Kong, there will still be cold days before Dragon Boat Festival. Interesting to note that when spoken, 櫳 which means cage (what was used to keep clothes in) sounds similar to 龍 (dragon) – lung5
There are more details explanations in these posts (in Chinese):
13. A Riddle!
And for those who can read Chinese, we conclude with a riddle! (The answer is also in the picture).
For more Dragon Boat Festival Cantonese videos, check out this YouTube playlist with book reading, songs, craft, dragon boat racing, vocabulary etc.
You might also enjoy reading:
- Spinning Round the Chrysanthemum Garden Cantonese Nursery Rhyme Lyrics 氹氹轉菊花園粵語兒歌歌詞
- Chinese New Year Cantonese Teaching Activities and Resources 農曆新年粵語教材
- Colours in Cantonese 顏色（粵語）: Vocabulary lists and worksheets
- Free Colloquial Cantonese Kid’s Educational Resources and Printables
- 輕輕鬆鬆廣東話Hing Hing Sone Sone Cantonese Learning Programme
- Why it is hard for many ABCs to pass on Cantonese?
- Cantonese Music for Kids including lyric printables