Dragon Boat Festival Celebration around the World

What countries celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival?

Where is the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated? China, as the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival, celebrate the festival most. Due to the influence of Chinese culture, many countries in Asian like South Korea and Japan also have Dragon Boat Festival celebrations. Moreover, the festival was introduced to Europe and America by Chinese immigrants and people there also celebrate the festival, mainly with dragon boat races.


China Mainland is abundant in the Dragon Boat Festival celebration activities. Dragon boat rowing is not only to mourn the patriotic poet Qu Yuan but also to pray for a bumper harvest, good weather and a healthy body. Eating Zongzi, a kind of rice dumpling, is another common custom. Besides, people hang calamus and wormwood on doors to drive mosquitoes and flies away and purify air, and kids wear perfume satchel and five-colored silk thread in red, yellow, blue, white, and black. Taiwan and Hong Kong also have other different customs and activities.


The main Dragon Boat Festival celebrations for Japanese people are eating zongzi and drinking calamus wine in order to avoid evil things. Since the “calamus” and “advocate strength” in the Japanese language are homophonic, the Dragon Boat Festival has gradually become a festival for boys. To wish the boys grow stronger and grow healthily, people will also hang the carp banner at the door, which means high hopes for their boys.

South Korea

South Korea’s Dragon Boat Festival is rich and colorful in activities. Gangneung Danoje is a typical representative of the South Korean Dragon Boat Festival which lasts for more than 20 days. During Gangneung Danoje, there will be activities with local characteristics such as throwing pots, wrestling, swinging, taekwondo competitions, college football matches and so on. The Gangneung Danoje is a large-scale folk activity for citizens to pray for good harvest and well-being.


Vietnam celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Their main Dragon Boat Festival celebrations are eating zongzi and driving away inspects. Parents will prepare a lot of fruits for the children and help their children wear a lucky charm weaved by colorful silk lines. Adults will drink realgar wine and they also wipe realgar wine on their kids to help drive away inspects. Moreover, the Vietnamese believe that eating zongzi helps to obtain good weather and good harvest.


In Singapore, it is a festival to exorcise evil spirits and pray for peace. On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, they will never forget to eat zongzi and hold dragon boat races. There are a special kind of zongzi called flower zongzi. The flower zongzi is made from the light green rice powder dyed by the flower juice. It is wrapped in a multi-angle shape with the size of an egg. Around the Dragon Boat Festival every year, a wonderful dragon boat invitational tournament will be held in Singapore’s East Coast Park.

 Read more about Dragon Boat Festival in Singapore


In Malaysia, people eat zongzi on this day. The zongzi-making contest is held almost every year. There are many old and young people participating in the competition. The dragon race is also held every year.

The United States

It is probably from the 1980s that Americans gradually learned about dragon boating by participating in dragon boat races held in China and other places. Today, China’s traditional sports dragon boating has become some Americans’ sports habits and one of the entertainment water sports projects in the United States.

 Read more about Dragon Boat Festival in USA 


In Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and other cities in Canada, the Dragon Boat Race is held almost every year. Not only Chinese but many Canadians and boat racing lovers from all over the world participate in it. In recent years, Canada international dragon boat invitational tournament is organized during the Dragon Boat Festival, which attracts a large number of tourists every year.

 Read more about Dragon Boat Festival in Canada 


The Dragon Boat Festival has been rooted in Germany for about 30 years. In 1989, the dragon boat event officially entered Germany and the first “Dragon Boat Festival” was held in Hamburg. After 1991, the dragon boat race was moved to Frankfurt, the financial center of Germany, and has continued to this day. Dragon Boat Race has become an important sporting event in Germany.

The United Kingdom

In the UK, many locals have already seen dragon boating and eating zongzi as Dragon Boat Festival celebrations. The most famous boat race in the UK is the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, which is the oldest inter-school rowing match in the world. The event has been held for more than 200 years on the Thames in London by the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge Rowing Club since 1829.

 Further Reading:
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng Festival)

Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan 

Top 5 Dragon Boat Festival Activities & 17 Regional Customs 

Dragon Boat Festival Traditions - Top 15 Things to Do

- Last modified on Jun. 06, 2019 -
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