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THE HISTORY & ART OF MAKING JOONG | ZONGZI 粽子| DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

January 16, 2017

THE HISTORY & ART OF MAKING JOONG | ZONGZI 粽子| DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

Boats and racers aside, there is a lot of preparation going on behind this Dragon Boat Festival. This sounds finger licking good and could be the answer to 'great' race food for many sports!

on nickisun.com

Ah…it’s that glorious time of year when my Grandma makes each family a dozen joong, or zong zi, each. I call it the Chinese tamale as it is a sticky rice mixture wrapped in bamboo leaves steamed for over 3 hours. Joong keeps well when frozen and can be reheated in the microwave for 2 minutes or re-steamed. Joong is eaten during the Dragon boat Festival which falls on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. This year, in 2016, the festival falls on June 9th!

A BRIEF HISTORY BEHIND DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL (IN CASE YOU WANT TO KNOW):

A long time ago in China (roughly 40 BC), there was a famous poet named Qu Yuan. He was one of the Emperor’s most loyal servants—thus earning the envy and fear of the other officials. After these officials made slanderous accusations about Qu, the Emperor banished him to a remote area. Upset about losing the Emperor’s trust, Qu committed suicide by drowning himself in the Milo river on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. The people of the village thought Qu was a noble man, so to pay their respects, they threw bamboo leaves filled with rice (known as joong or zongzi) into the river to keep the fish and the powerful river dragon from eating his body. And to honor the poet’s devotion to the Emperor, the Dragon boat Festival was born.

Every year, from May to June, generations of Chinese moms, aunties, and daughters come together to make joong (zongzi 粽子) as a way to acknowledge dragon boat folklore. It’s also their way of passing the torch from one generation to another.

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