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Dragon Boat Festival, Duan Wu Festival, Double Fifth Festival

On Lunar May 5th, 278 BC, Miluo River witnessed a sad story of a poet’s desperate suicide.

Miluo is a small branch of Xiang River, flowing innocently through the fertile plain of the Dongting Lake district in the middle reach of the Yangtze River. While the poet, Qu Yuan, was a great historical figure of Chu State in Warring States Period, famous for his initiation of Chu Ci (楚辞), which was a beautiful romantic poetry
with obvious local color blooming in Chu State and speaking out the essence of marvellous Chu culture. The poet was taken away to a place unknown, just leaving his great literature achievement in China's history, among which Li Sao (离骚), Jiu Ge(九歌) are the truely highlights.

Opening historical documents and looking for records or descriptions about the Dragon Boat Festival, you may find it had existed as a bad-luck-expelling day long before Qu Yuan’s death. However it has been widely believed since then that it was more a memorial day of the great Poet than a bad-luck-expelling day as it had used to be, though the beginning and meaning of it were and are talked in numerous ways.

Back to the fifth day of the Lunar May 2290 years ago after Qu Yuan’s drowning himself in Miluo, people were so sad and had struggled to save him then to find and protect his body. Teams of people got into their dragon boats hoping to save Qu Yuan. Finally there was no possibility of saving the poet; people began to throw Zongzi into the river, trying to feed the fish so as to avoid their eating of his body. And people did the same the next year and the next till now to mourn Qu Yuan.
qu yuan
Qu Yuan, a great poet. A sentence in his masterpiece "Li Sao"(离骚) is a truthful portrait of his personality. It says"The way to get profound knowledge and grand morality is so far that I will search them from the paradise to the hell wholeheartedly."
The Dragon Boat Festival, enjoying the most names among other Chinese celebrations, of which the most common ones are Duan Wu Fesival and Duan Yang Festival. It is widely celebrated and honored by Chinese people of different nationalities, especially those living in China's South area. Besides eating Zongzi and racing dragon boats, people also follow the ancient traditions of hangging mugwurt beside doors and windows, making and wearing perfume bags to expell the bad luck of May. In ancient China, Lunar May was condisered to be an unlucky month of the year. A salty egg usually serves as a lovely mate of Zongzi in some regions.



 Dragon Boat Racing


 Perfume Bags


 Mugwort Hanging at Doors


However, the celebrating traditions vary from region to region. In Taiwan, China, and some other regions as well in the mainland, an intresting dragon-boat-festival game is very popular that the one who stands an egg on its end at exactly 12 O' clock at noon on the Dragon Boat Festival will be blessed with good fortune.
Nowadays, these traditions are still maintained though it may not the situation among the young generation. In order to relight and profound the cultural traditions of the festival, Xixi Wetland in Hangzhou holds an annual celebration themed in Dragon Boats and the Festival involving people home and abroad. The event is going on from June 9th to July 9th this year.

Xixi Dragon Boat Festival

Various folk-customs activities are carried out up there in the ecological wetland park lying in the west of Hangzhou City.
Early Spring Days of Xixi Wetland
Interesting Folk Customs
On June 23rd, around 300 beautifully decorated dragon boats will reveal the true face of our intangible culture relics of the festival. The exciting International Xixi Dragon Boat Racing will kick off in the morning followed by special folk sacrificial rites in the afternoon.
As for the tourists, there are dazzling things welcome them: wrapping up Zongzi, embroidering perfume bags, exhibitions of intangible relics like jade sculpture, bamboo carving, embroidery, handmade kites, bamboo weaving, as well as performances of Zhongtai flutes,Yuhang paper umbrellas, Jingshan Zongzi and puppet shadow shows.If you are into Chinese culture and customs, you should not miss this wonderful event. Xixi Evening Tour and Dragon Boat Tour must be a splendid experience to explore the beauty of Hangzhou's elegant nights and a truely escape.
 making zongzi
 International Dragon Boat Racing Making Zongzi
 Kong Fu Show Puppet Shadow Show Attracts Kids
 Yuhang Paper Umbrellas Making Perfume Bags


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