Dragon Boat Festival (or “Duānwǔjié” Festival) originated in China and is now spread throughout Asia. In Taiwan, it’s celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. Traditionally, the holiday stems from the story of Qu Yuan, a poet, who was exiled by his king. Out of despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in a nearby river. The locals who cared for him quickly paddled their boats into the river to save him but it was too late. Not wanting the fish to consume his body, the locals dropped sticky rice into the river in the hopes that the fish would choose the rice over the poet. This is why people eat zongzi (or sticky rice dumplings) during Dragon Boat Festival.
If you choose to attend this festival, don’t leave home without a telephoto lens. It will be your best friend at this event.
For more information:
2014 Taipei Dragon Boat Festival Homepage
Taiwan: The Heart of Asia
2014 Schedule for Taiwan Dragon Boat Festivals (Travel King)