The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar – May 30 this year on the Western calendar. It is a 2,000-year-old tradition celebrated nationwide in various forms to commemorate the ancient poet Qu Yuan, who committed suicide out of love for his country.
In September 2009, UNESCO added the Dragon Boat Festival to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the first Chinese festival to receive the honor.
Dragon boat races have been held for centuries. The races were inspired by villagers' valiant attempts to rescue Qu Yuan from the Milo River.
An egg balancing competition will be held at noon in many places during the festival.
At the Dragon Boat Festival, children normally wear scented sachets stringed with five-color silk thread to ward off evil. The sweet-smelling sachet contains cinnabar, realgar and aromatic herbs.
Zhong Kui is a famous exorcist in Chinese folk stories. His picture, a fierce-looking male brandishing a magic sword, is hung up in Chinese houses to scare away evil spirits and demons, especially during Dragon Boat Festival.
During Dragon Boat Festival, Chinese put mugwort leaves and calamus on doors or windows to repel insects, flies, fleas and moths from the house.
Zongzi are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. Zongzi filled with five-spice coated fatty pork and mung beans are popular in Guangdong. In northern provinces, people prefer sweet zongzi that are filled with sugary red-bean paste.
Realgar wine, or xionghuangjiu, is a Chinese alcoholic drink consisting of fermented cereals and powdered realgar. There is an old saying: "Drinking realgar wine drives diseases and evils away!"
It is a custom for people in East China's Nanchang to eat eggs boiled with tea during the Dragon Boat Festival.
During the Dragon Boat Festival, glutinous rice cakes are eaten by the Korean ethnic group, who live in Yanbian prefecture in Northeast China's Jilin province. Served with honey or sugar, the rice cakes are delicious and chewy.
Jiandui is a kind of fried round cake made of wheat and rice flour and something to sweeten them. In East China's Fujian province, every family eats jiandui during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Dragon boat race is held at night in a river town. Photo is taken by Ji Yongxie. [Photo provided by photoint.net]
《夜赛龙舟》 纪永协 （摄）
Elders are busy with zongzi, which ware pyramid-shaped snacks made of glutinous rice ball stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves, during the Dragon Boat Festival. Photo is taken by Zhang Yougang. [Photo provided by photoint.net]
A sacrificial ceremony is held at the ancestral temple during the Dragon Boat Festival. Photo is taken by Zhuo Zhihao. [Photo provided by photoint.net]
《端午祭》 卓志昊 （摄）
Dragon boat race at an ancient village. Photo is taken by Zhang Yongyan. [Photo provided by photoint.net]
《乡村龙舟》 张永艳 （摄）
Source / Chinaculture.org Editor / Li Hongrui, Liu Xuanyi