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Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival(in Chinese or Pinyin: Duan-Wu-Jie)  also calledDouble Fifth Festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar. It is one of the most important Chinese festivals.
The origin of this summer festival centers around a scholarly government official named Chu Yuan (Pinyin: Qu-Yuan). He was a good and respected man, but because of the misdeeds of jealous rivals he eventually fell into disfavor in the emperor’s court.
Unable to regain the respect of the emperor, in his sorrow Chu Yuan threw himself into the Mi Low river. Because of their admiration for Chu Yuan, the local people living adjacent to the Mi Lo River rushed into their boats to search for him while throwing rice into the waters to appease the river dragons.
Although they were unable to find Chu Yuan, their efforts are still commemorated today during the Dragon Boat Festival.

Dragon Boat race: Traditions At the center of this festival are the dragon boat races. Competing teams drive their colorful dragon boats forward to the rhythm of beating drums. These exciting races were inspired by the villager’s valiant attempts to rescue Chu Yuan from the Mi Lo river. This tradition has remained unbroken for centuries.

Tzung Tzu (Pinyin: Zong-Zi): A very popular dish during the Dragon Boat festival is tzung tzu. This tasty dish consists of rice dumplings with meat, peanut, egg yolk, or other fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves. The tradition of tzung tzu is meant to remind us of the village fishermen scattering rice across the water of the Mi Low river in order to appease the river dragons so that they would not devour Chu Yuan.

Ay Taso (Pinyin: Ai-Cao): The time of year of the Dragon Boat Festival, the fifth lunar moon, has more significance than just the story of Chu Yuan. Many Chinese consider this time of year an especially dangerous time when extra efforts must be made to protect their family from illness. Families will hang various herbs, called Ay Tsao, on their door for protection. The drinking of realgar wine is thought to remove poisons from the body. Hsiang Bao are also worn. These sachets contain various fragrant medicinal herbs thought to protect the wearer from illness.

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