TAIPEI (The China Post) — One of the most anticipated holidays in Taiwan is the Dragon Boat Festival, a tradition that dates back to the 3rd century BCE.
Among the many traditions of this holiday, the dragon boat race is a favorite of Shaun Payne, who is an avid dragon boat rower who participates every year.
Hailing from Canada, Shaun works as a live show producer at SMP International and is also a springboard and platform diving coach. He has lived in Taiwan for several years and has participated in dragon boat races since 2010, making him a seasoned veteran in the sport.
He initially celebrated this holiday by watching the races along the riverside, though he later joined as he thought it would serve as a great opportunity to exercise and meet new friends.
When asked about what he usually does during this holiday, Shaun revealed that he takes part in the dragon boat race and eats lots of zongzis (粽子).
The best thing about participating in dragon boat races is it’s a great way to meet new people and make friends, Shaun said.
“The team-bonding created during practices for the race results in an indescribable feeling once you’re side by side with them on the boat with the same goal of winning in mind.”
Shaun said that his favorite food of this holiday is none other than zongzis.
“I like mochi (麻糬) as well, though I had to get accustomed to its weird texture,” he added.
To Shaun, the greatest thing about this holiday and its celebratory events is how the locals are extremely friendly, welcoming and eager to share their traditions with others.
“The most interesting aspect is the many different customs that are affiliated to this festival depending on what part of Asia it is celebrated in,” Shaun added.