The cavetto of the present dish is filled with a lively design of dragon, peacock and phoenix boats, representing the Dragon Boat Festival which takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The festival is highlighted by the dragon boat race, with the dragon symbolic of the controller and bringer of the rains and thus the success of the crops.
A Wanli wucai dish of identical design and similar size in the Percival David Foundation is illustrated by M. Medley, Illustrated Catalogue of Ming Polychrome Wares, London, 1978, no. 91. Compare also a Wanli marked qiangjin and tianqi-decorated lacquer circular tray decorated in the well with the dragon boat theme, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 April 2001, lot 645.