Significance of the Dragon Boat Festival

Duanwu Jie is a widely celebrated holiday for the Chinese community-immigrants and non-immigrants in New York. For the general Chinese community, the festival is like any other holiday, where people gather and celebrate with food and drinks. The part of the holiday that makes it unique is from the type of foods (zongzi and wine) and the dragon boat race.

“Dragon Boat racing has the universal aspect of bringing motivated people together as a team to accomplish a goal. ” said Festival Race Director Hans Wu.

Dragon boat teams embody the diversity we see here in New York. Peoples of different ethnicity and ages join and become a part of something greater than themselves.  The friendships, bonds, and feeling of being a part of a family are what bring dragon boaters together.

The teamwork and strategy that goes with dragon boat racing is present in everyday life. In New York City, most Chinese families watch Channel 73 CCTV. One commercial that appears everyday around 9pm is the Dragon Boat Festival advertisement from Metlife; featuring Snoopy leading the PEANUTS gang and paddling together towards the finish line and winning the race. Just like how Snoopy steered the team, Metlife  wants to send the message that it can help guide the financial future of the Chinese community.

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