On the afternoon of 24th June , from 3pm to 5pm, an extraordinary Dragon Boat Festival event was taking place at the CEDP Chinese Centre in Brighton, UK. The event aims to inherit Chinese traiditional culture and bring overseas Chinese together to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.
As one of the traditional Chinese festivals, the Dragon Boat Festival holds an important place in the hearts of Chinese people. In order to allow overseas Chinese to deeply feel the charm of this festival, CEDP Chinese Centre has carefully planned a series of colourful activities. More than 30 families from the UK and over 100 overseas Chinese and overseas students participated in this event.
One of the highlights of this event was the experience of making zongzi(sticky rice dumplings). The day before the official event, Ms Peihua taught volunteers how to wrap the traditional four-cornered zongzi with various fillings, and the volunteers got to experience the skills and fun of making traditional zongzi. The day of the event was also very lively, with participants personally experiencing the fun of making zongzi. People exchanged experiences and discussed the traditional techniques of making zongzi with each other. It was not only a unique hands-on experience, but also an opportunity to learn about Chinese cultural traditions.
In addition, the event also offered calligraphy experiences and on-site portrait drawings. There were brushes and water-writing calligraphy writing pads, where participants could repeatedly dip water and write, creating ink with each drop, and reuse the pad. There was also a calligraphy teacher from China who personally guided participants on how to write traditional Chinese characters, allowing them to taste the charm of Chinese calligraphy. Through the artistic expression of calligraphy, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the profoundness of Chinese culture. What is more, the artist, Jingjing, drew portraits of both Chinese and foreign guests on-site, creating exquisite cards for permanent preservation and memory.
During the Dragon Boat Festival celebration, Cici volunteered to take on the important role of MC for the event. With her unique charm and talent, she managed to put on a splendid show for the audience. Firstly, Dr Zhou Tiantian introduced the origin and significance the Dragon Boat Festival. She vividly told the story of Qu Yuan and explained the traditional customs of the festival, allowing the audience to gain a deeper understanding of this traditional holiday.
Next, Professor Liu Yang took the stage and performed a touching song titled “Walking on the Path of Happiness.” His deep and melodious voice captivated the audience, immersing them in the charm of music.
After that, Qin Dongming recited “Yueyang Tower,” a classic literary work in China. His unique and outstanding recitation skills perfectly presented this piece of literature to the audience, eliciting applause from the crowd.
At the same time, we not only had performances from adults but also witnessed the wonderful performances of children. One child spontaneously recited a beautiful Chinese poem on the spot, winning cheers and applause from the audience.
In addition to the literary and musical performances, there was also a demonstrations of Tai Chi fans. Le Qu and Qin Dongming demonstrated their Tai Chi fan skills, allowing the audience to experience the magic and beauty of Tai Chi. The Tai Chi fan, a traditional Chinese martial art form of performance, was elegant and magnificent. Tai Chi fan enthusiasts demonstrated superb fan skills, giving participants a feast. One of the performers, Le Qu, is a local Brightoner who loves Chinese culture and has been practising Tai Chi fans for many times. Everyone praised the Tai Chi fan performance and felt deeply the charm of traditional Chinese culture.
Finally, Qin Bingfen took the stage and sang a melodious song called “People Say Shanxi Has Beautiful Scenery.” Her powerful and infectious voice immersed the audience in the beauty of Shanxi. The entire program was conducted smoothly under the hosting of Cici, full of vitality and passion.
At the end of the event, there was a quiz and raffle, hosted by local volunteers Sonia and Martin, which was very successful in driving the atmosphere and increasing interaction with the audience through a simple and fun quiz, where participants had the chance to win prizes prepared by the Center. It brought more surprises and joy to the audience.
The significance of this Dragon Boat Festival event lies not only in spreading Chinese culture to localcommunity, but also in allowing overseas Chinese to celebrate this traditional festival together in a foreign country. Through the outstanding performances of the volunteers, the whole event was made more lively and interesting, successfully showcasing the traditional culture and diverse performances of the Dragon Boat Festival. The audience expressed that it was an unforgettable programme and thanked all the participants for their hard work. CEDP Chinese Center provided a platform for the participants to communicate and share their culture, making everyone feel the warmth of home and the joy of reunion.
The successful Dragon Boat Festival Celebration organized by CEDP Chinese Center provided participants with an unforgettable cultural experience and a greater understanding and respect for traditional Chinese culture. Whether you are an overseas Chinese or someone interested in Chinese culture, you are welcome to join CEDP to learn more about and experience traditional Chinese culture, make new friends and have a great time together.
Lastly, we would like to express our gratitude to Jim and Summer for their generous donation of £1,000 towards this event. We also want to thank the members of the CEDP China Center Board, Ms. Tian Yuan and Ms. Qian Zhen, Dr. Ren Ling, Mr. Zhang Guocheng, and Mr. Hong Zhenchuan for providing the necessary materials, venue, and zongzi for the Dragon Boat Festival event, ensuring its success and allowing every guest to enjoy a cup of healthy tea and taste the zongzi. Special thanks to Ms. Peihua for teaching the volunteers how to make zongzi, as well as to friends who specially traveled from London and other places to attend the event.