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Dragon Boat Festival on menu in so many ways

THE Shanghai World Expo site embraced the Dragon Boat Festival yesterday with a multicultural culinary celebration.

Traditional festival snack zongzi - glutinous rice wrapped in reed leaves - was one of the most popular products at the site.

And food wasn't the only thing on the menu as gifts and bargains abounded.

The Shanghai Pavilion, for example, distributed more than 40,000 bookmarks and 1,000-plus postcards to visitors.

Designed by farmer-painters in Jinshan District, the bookmarks had five different patterns - featuring zongzi, hanging wormwood leaves, sachets, tributes to noted poet and scholar Qu Yuan and heated realgar wine.

The pavilion also burnt realgar wine in the waiting area, allowing visitors to feel the atmosphere of the festival.

In the Singapore Pavilion, visitors sampled nyonya zongzi, with stuffing made from meat and white gourd and seasoned with coriander powder. Cooks displayed the whole process of making nyonya zongzi in the pavilion.

In the Spain Pavilion, visitors received free treats in the form of a cup of hot chocolate and Spanish churro pastry snacks.

Stores in the Spain Pavilion offered discounts to visitors, with notebooks, souvenir fans and souvenir cups of football legends Real Madrid all 50 percent off and attracting keen buyer interest.

On Tuesday, the Shanghai Pavilion invited officials from 16 Expo exhibitors to Shajiabang in Jiangsu Province to participate Dragon Boat Festival activities.

It was the first time most of the exhibitors had experienced the traditional Chinese holiday celebrations.

At the Expo site, more than 6,000 volunteers received zongzi from organizers, while pavilion officials were given sachets and black tea as gifts in appreciation of their hard work.


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