On June 12, 2013 is the traditional Dragon Boat Festival in China, which also known as Double Fifth Day, usually falling on the 5th day of the 5th month in the lunar year. Many traditional customs and activities are held on the specified day by Chinese people, such as dragon boat racing, eating zongzi, wearing a perfume punch and tying five-color silk thread.
The Origin of Dragon Boat Festival
It is said that more than two thousand years ago, in the Kingdon of Chu, live a patriotic poet named Qu Yuan. He discovered that the neighboring Kingdom of Qin wanted to conquer the Kingdom of Chu. So hye immediately told the King of Chu. But the King refused to believe him and banished him instead.
Several years later, the capital of Chu was attaced and taken by the Qin. When Qu Yuan received the news, he fell in despair and tossed himself into the Miluo River.
When the people founded out, they were terribly sad. They rowed their boats up and down to rescue Qu Yuan, but could not find him. Then the people began to toss rice balls as sacrifices to Qu Yuan. To make sure that the fish could not steal the rice, they wrapped the rice in reed leaves. And that is why we eat zongzi during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Traditional Customs in Dragon Boat Festival
According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the Qu Yuan’s body after he drowned himself to protest his emperor who gave in to the bully State of Chin.
Dragon Boat Racing
Nowadays, dragon boat race is the most exciting part of the festival. Dragon Boats are generally brightly painted and decorated canoes. Their heads are shaped like open-mouthed dragons, while the sterns end with a scaly tail. A drummer and flag-catcher stand at the front of the boat. Before a dragon boat enters competition, it must be “brought to life” by painting the eyes in a sacred ceremony.
In Chinese culture, dragons are strong, powerful creatures, symbols of benevolence and protection, hence their exalted status. Dragon boat races symbolize the Chinese virtues of teamwork and cooperation – and bless the community with happiness and prosperity. And that is the moral of this story- the community that rows together, grows together!
Hanging Mugwort Leaves and Calamus
Nowadays, the Dragon Boat Festival became a 3-day national holiday in China, so that people can have more time take a rest and enjoy the traditional festival. If you are interested in experiencing the traditional Chinese festival with the locals in China, you can go to our website and find your trip.