November 25, 2020

Dragon boats

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The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is a significant holiday celebrated in China, and the one with the longest history. The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by boat races in the shape of Dragons. Competing teams row their boats forward to a drumbeat racing to reach the finish end first.

The boat races during the Dragon Boat Festival are traditional customs to attempts to rescue the patriotic poet Chu Yuan. Chu Yuan drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 B.C. Chinese citizens now throw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water. Therefore the fish could eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This later on turned into the custom of eating tzung tzu and rice dumplings.

The rowers of each team drivie their boats forward in unison to the beat of drums. The winning team is the one that first grabs the flag at the end of the river course and the difference between victory and defeat may be only a few fractions of a second.

This lively and colorful tradition has continued unbroken for centuries to the present day.

The celebration is a time for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year. It is done so by different practices such as hanging healthy herbs on the front door, drinking nutritious concoctions, and displaying portraits of evil’s nemesis, Chung Kuei. If one manages to stand an egg on it’s end at exactly 12:00 noon, the following year will be a lucky one.

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