Miss Gioia

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dragon Boat Festival

Today is the Dragon Boat festival in Taipei. Long, long ago an ancient poet threw himself into the river to protest the corrupt Chinese government of the day. The local people were so upset that they threw rice in the river to keep the fish from eating his body.

This festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Hong Kong and Taiwan. On the Mainland, however, it was one of the traditional celebrations which was encouraged to "fall away." Perhaps because the whole point of the festivities was celebrating people who stood up against the government. Not good. But this year, China decided to bring it back as an official holiday.Maybe they are feeling more secure in their one party rule. Who knows?

The Dragon Boat festival is marked by two main things: serious boat races and steamed rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves (zongzi). We went to the river front yesterday to watch the semi-finals of the boat races. I forgot to bring the telephoto lens, so I didn't get any great boat shots. But it was cool to see the racers, all paddling in unison to the drumbeat of the leader in the front.

We had a great time at the riverfront. Frankie panted, Gioia walked around (with help from Daddy), and I got sunburned. All in all a good day.

More pictures here.

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