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As COVID retreats, traditions return

GUANGZHOU, CHINA (AP) – The dragon boat tradition returned in parts of China on Friday for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic in late 2019, as restrictions are lifted along with a major drop in COVID-19 cases.

The historic Lychee Bay scenic area in the southern Chinese manufacturing hub of Guangzhou staged boat displays and other scaled-back celebrations to mark the holiday commemorating the death more than 2,200 years ago of revered poet and government minister Qu Yuan.

Restrictions on the length of events and the size of crowds remained in place but did little to dampen the mood.

Along with the displays and traditional boat races – featuring teams of up to a dozen or more paddlers but which were not held in Guangzhou this year due to pandemic measures – the holiday is marked by community gatherings and the enthusiastic consumption of steamed rice dumplings cooked with meat, peanuts and other ingredients and wrapped…

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