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What is the Dragon Boat Festival and why is it celebrated?

Jun 06, 2024

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated on fifth day of the month of the lunar calendar It has a rich that spans over 2,000 and is widely observed in China and other countries with Chinese communities.

This festival is primarily celebrated to commemorate the famous poet and statesman Qu Yuan, who lived during the Warring States period of ancient China. Qu Yuan was known for his patriotism and unwavering loyalty to his country. When his kingdom was conquered by a rival state, he drowned himself in the Miluo as an act of protest against corruption and injustice.

The Dragon Boat Festival is named after the most popular and distinctive activity associated with it: dragon boat races. These races involve long, narrow boats decorated like dragons, with rowers sitting in pairs and paddling vigorously to the beat of a drum. The races symbolize the search for Qu Yuan's body in the river and are held in rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water across the country.

Another significant aspect of the festival is the consumption of zongzi, a traditional Chinese delicacy. Zongzi are sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and filled with various ingredients like meat, beans, and nuts. They are then steamed or boiled to perfection. The making and sharing of zongzi during the Dragon Boat Festival is an essential tradition passed down through generations.

Additionally, the festival is associated with a few interesting customs. To ward off evil spirits and diseases, people often hang up bundles of herbs, such as moxa and calamus, at their doors. They also make and wear colorful silk threads called "five-colored threads" to protect themselves from evil spirits. Children are often given colorful silk threads to wear as bracelets or belts to keep them safe and healthy.

Overall, the Dragon Boat Festival is a time of celebration, remembrance, and cultural heritage. It brings communities together to honor Qu Yuan's noble spirit and promote traditional customs. With dragon boat races, zongzi, and various customs, this festival showcases the unity, vitality, and rich cultural diversity of the Chinese people.




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