The Dragon Boat Festival, originated in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month every year.
The Dragon Boat Festival, with a history of 2000 years, together with the Spring Festival, the qingming festival, Mid-Autumn festival, becomes the most important traditional festival of the Chinese nation.
The Dragon Boat Festival was added to the third batch of the State-level Non-material Cultural Heritage List approved by the state council in May,2006.
The Dragon Boat Festival has been a statutory public holiday since 2008, and was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.
The origin of the Dragon Boat Festival has many sayings, such as from Qu Yuan, from Wu Zixu, from Cao E. The most popular saying is to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan.
During the Dragon Boat Festival, people will drink realgar wine, wear sachet, hang moxa calamus, tie five-color silk on the child's wrist and so on. These traditional customs are to ward off disease and bad luck in order to pray for peace of family, which shows people pay attention to the traditional Chinese medicine and traditional culture.
The main custom of the Dragon Boat Festival is dragon boat race, which is held to pray for a good weather for the crops and a good harvest. It is said that this custom originated from a legend that people from the State of Chu boated down the river to retrieve the corpse of Qu Yuan, a great patriotic poet, who drowned himself in the Miluo River. They boated to Dong ting Lake until Qu Yuan was lost. From then on, people held dragon boat races every5th day of the 5th lunar month to commemorate Qu Yuan. The ancients regarded the boat as the tool to drive out evil and disasters. Therefore, dragon boat race has the meaning of eliminating evil spirits and warding off disasters as well as good wishes to be blessed.
Eating zongzi is another important custom of the Dragon Boat Festival. There are various kinds and flavors of zongzi and there is a big difference in its flavors between northern and southern. The custom of eating zongzi has handed down for thousands of years and spread to many countries around the world.
The traditional festivals, as the basic elements of Chinese culture, reflect the culture and thoughts of the Chinese nation and are precious resources to cultivate and carry forward socialist core values. Patriotism, great importance attached to traditional Chinese medicine and respect for teachers and education form the rich connotations of the Dragon Boat Festival.
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