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Dragon Boat Festival

5th day of the 5th lunar month (China)


 

The Lunar May 5th is Chinese traditional Dragon Boat Festival, also called "Duanyang or Double 5th or Duan Wu". Early in Zhou Dynasty, there was a custom of taking a bath on the lunar May 5th. Now the Dragon Boat Festival is always related to the great patriotic and literary figure-Quyuan. During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet of the state of Chu, was removed from office and sent into exile by the duke of Chu. In sorrow, Qu took a stone in his embrace and drowned himself in the Miluo River on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. The local people wrapped glutinous rice in mugwort leaves and threw it into the river to lure the shrimps, fish and crabs away form the remains of the deceased poet. With the passing of time the practice of throwing rice into the river as a sacrifice to Qu Yuan gradually evolved into a custom.

Eating "Zhongzi" To show their respect and longings for the great patriotic poet, the Chinese make it a point to mark the anniversary of his death by eating zongzi, a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.

Dragon boat races. On the day, theatrical performances, dragon and lion dances, and other folk dances are staged right on board the boats. Boat races are also part of the festivity. People have dragon-boat racing in the south.

Cleaning the house At the same time, the Dragon Boat Festival is also "a cleaning festival". People clean their courtyard on this day, putting up some leaves of mugwort or cattail on either side of the door, spray realgar water, and drinking realgar liquor. People clean away the rotten, kill bacteria to prevent diseases.

All these activities reflect the good tradition of Chinese nationality.