THE FESTIVAL MAY 2017 TO APRIL 2018 CALENDAR An eclectic selection of solemn, scary, fun, musical and just plain weird festivals happening around the region in the next 12 months.

NINGALOO WHALE SHARK FESTIVAL, EXMOUTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA: When theworld’s largest sharks visit in hordes, what do you do? Hold a festival, of course! Fortunately, whale sharks are completely harmless to humans so everyone can swim with these friendly giants. Floating parades, market stalls and plenty of beach game stations will be set up to celebrate the annual arrival of the whale sharks. 26 TO 28 MAY 2017 DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL: Crowds munching on sticky rice dumplings ( zongzi ) will be streaming to this exciting event that originated in China over 2000 years ago and now takes place all over the globe. A festival of many names, it’s also known as Duanwu, Tuen Ng and Double Fifth Festival (falling on the fifth day of the

Legend has it that the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the attempt to save the life of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and statesman of the ancient Chu kingdom. Court officials, jealous of Qu Yuan’s wisdom, falsely accused him of conspiracy and he was exiled by the king. At the age of 61, Qu Yuan drowned himself by attaching a heavy stone to his chest and jumping into the Miluo River. The people of Chu took to their boats and tried to rescue Qu Yuan, believing he was an honourable man, but they were unable to save him. Instead, they threw sticky rice dumplings into the water so that the fish would eat these rather than Qu Yuan’s body.

fifth month). 30 MAY 2017



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