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As COVID retreats, dragon boat tradition back in south China

Virus Outbreak China
Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 14:00:12-04

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — Dragon boat festivities have returned in parts of China for the first time since the pandemic outbreak in late 2019 as restrictions are lifted along with a significant drop in COVID-19 cases.

A historic area in Guangzhou's southern Chinese manufacturing hub staged boat displays and other celebrations Friday to mark the holiday that commemorates the death more than 2,200 years ago of a revered poet and government minister.

Along with displays of boats and traditional races that were not held this year due to pandemic measures, the holiday is marked by the consumption of steamed rice dumplings cooked with meat and peanuts and wrapped in green leaves.

The tradition of the dragon boat dates back 500 years.

More than a century ago, residents showed off the boats as works of folk art and craftsmanship.

On Friday, China recorded just 74 new COVID-19 cases, and restrictions have been eased in cities, including Shanghai.

Some restrictions, including travel, testing requirements, quarantines, and mask mandates, remain.