Monday, June 18, 2018

端午节 Dragon Boat Festival With 粽子 Zongzi (Ba Zhang)


14th June, 2021 [update]
Thanking everyone who's reading this post. This Covid year and month have been very taxing for everyone. I hope you will enjoy some time eating your bah-chang and remember the festivities of dragon boats and clanging cymbals, gongs and drums. 

18th June, 2018
Huge festivities these few days: (1) the Trump/Kim Summit (2) Hari Raya Puasa (3) Father's Day (4) FIFA World Cup and of course, (5) the Dragon Boat Festival. Anything else guys?

The Festival:

On 18 June 2018, Chinese Singaporeans celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. It originated in China and the actual date varies from year to year. The festival occurs during the Summer solstice i.e. on the 5th-day in the 5th month of the Chinese calendar.

On our island, Dragon Boat races are a regular yearly affair when the famous Singapore River is filled with colourful dragon boats of drums, gongs, flags and paddlers ready to beat their challengers to win the race.

Rice dumplings or bah-chang are sold everywhere in the country. There are huge ones, middle-sized ones and even baby ones, mostly wrapped in different shades of green. The insides too are of different colours and taste and meat and content.

The Legend:

During this period, glutinous rice-dumplings (sticky rice) filled with meat are eaten to celebrate the occasion. Legend has it that an incorruptible minister, Qu Yuan, during the Warring States in China took his own life and drowned himself in the river because of political intrigue.

To keep him intact, faithful followers and town folks paddled boats loudly in the river to distract flesh-eating fish from eating his body. Others threw cooked rice wrapped in leaves in the hope that the fish would eat the dumplings instead.

鄧麗君-燒肉粽 (Sio Ba-zang) Teresa Teng - Rice Dumplings. Video: Mr Sirtea.

The Song:

This particular song has no relevance to the legend at all but explains about street hawkers who sell their wares by singing to attract. The rice-dumplings or bah-chang are obviously popular during the festival.

Sung by legendary Chinese pop star Teresa Teng, the song describes the plight of poor parents whose daughter, a university graduate, has to sell rice dumplings because she is facing unemployment problems. It is a temporary job and she is selling roast meat stew (rice dumplings filled with meat). The composition is sung in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect used often in Taiwan.

A Happy *Sio Bah Chang Festival To All.

The term has been so used in a sensual and comedic term to mean sizzling hot breasts among the naughty boys. This sexy phrase also has a song to boot. 😅
Rice dumplings with meat within. For lunch or dinner. One is sufficient.

An original piece with information from the Internet. 

Check out the songs. Click connection below:

If there is misinformation regarding this article, do write in to comment and it will be amended.

Images/Video: Google and YouTube

The sweet version of the rice dumplings for dessert or tea, drinking them with coffee. Again one dumpling is more than sufficient for the average guy.



I am glad to tell you we have Dragon Boat Race in the city of Nagasaki where I used to live. We call it "Peiron Championship" that is said to have been started 350 years ago by Chinese people living in Nagasaki. This year the festival will be held July 28 and 29th. Won't you take part in?

KOH SUI PANG said...

Oh great celebration for this Zongzi festival ..well, i only know to eat the Bah -Chang haaaaaaaa!!!


May you and Kok Siu Pang have the most delicious bah chang

SPYeo said...

Ha ha time to eat rice dumplings for all the good wishes it brings to you.

What'sApp said...

Replies and acknowledgements from WhatsApp:

Tan Soo Khoon
Dr Angeline Khoo
George Chew
Victor Woo
Audie Ng
John Cher

Thank you all.


This is the original vinyl version and it was cut in the mid-sixties.
Recording on HORSE RECORD.

(Audie sent me an image of the recording.)

Thank you Audie.


Good old fashioned, c/w salted egg yolk, chestnuts, little bitty pork lard to bring it to full flavour.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

SIO BAH CHANG. With Teresa Teng. Huge festivities these few days: (1) the Trump/Kim Summit (2) Hari Raya Puasa (3) Father's Day (4) FIFA World Cup and of course, (5) the Dragon Boat Festival. Anything else guys?

Thanks to all for supporting the blog with comments.


I eat BAK CHANG whenever I get the chance especially love the Nonya type and have to wash down the oil with a cup of TEH-O, although I didn't know fully the significance of the origin of this festival/legend, a big event in China [holiday there] but not in Singapore.

I am enlightened now by good friend Andy here in his blog. One impending bright spot for us is that on the 21 June Singapore will allow eating out so I can sit there and then to savour the steaming hot BAK CHANG in front of the stall.

[21 June - opening up of places after COVID restrictions.]

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I first heard the SIO BAH CHANG song at a TIFFANY show in Bangkok, Thailand, where fair-looking young men dressed as ladies [very pretty indeed] sang and danced on stage.

In between stage-change a lumpy [as in full-breasted] lady shows up on stage and sings the song. There was laughter, gaiety and mirth... My wife and I enjoyed the show indeed.



Koh Sui Pang
Same to you Andy Happy Dumpling ....

Hiroshi Deguchi
It is sad to realize our daughters couldn't come home to us for the Dragon Boat festival and we couldn't have the Dumpling cake together as we used to do, all because of Covid 19.

Andy Young
Hiroshi Deguchi Next year sir. They will...

Koh Daisy
The Dumpling Festival is actually a day of remembrance for Qu Yuan. According to one source it should be remembered with a tinge of sadness like Ching Ming… so it is inappropriate to use the phrase “Happy Dumpling Festival”.😁

Andy Young
Thanks Daisy, yes the story is in the blog posting but forgot all about it. It actually depends on how one interprets these stories. I have deleted the greeting.

Koh Daisy
No worries Andy, Dumpling Festival like all the rest have been commercialised. Observe the happy long queues for dumplings at the famous dumpling outlet in Katong and Joo Chiat. 😁😁

Andy Young
Thanks Daisy, always appreciate your affirmative support.

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