Duan in or Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival - Spectacular Race in Honor of the Cult of the Dragon
Each year, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, China celebrates Dragon Boat Festival or Duan in Chinese. The history of this festival begins in the III century BC. It is connected with many stories and legends. Many people believe that the holiday is associated with the cult of the dragon, who was held in the south of China in the Yangtze River valley. However, the most common version is that the Dragon Boat Festival is observed in memory of the ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan.
Qu Yuan was a famous poet and philosopher of the Qin era. He lived in the Chu Kingdom, in the territory of the modern province of Hubei. In his poems he denounced very often the corruption and greed of local officials, as well as the weakness of the rulers.
In 278 BC Tsin troops invaded the Chu Kingdom and seized the whole territory. A poet could not stand the shame and, out of grief, rushed he in the river. The people, shocked by this act, were looking for the poet in the river almost all day and all night. Since then, on the fifth day of the fifth month the Chinese arrange “dragon” boat racing on the river. The boat got the name due to the fact that they are made in the shape of a dragon.
One of the festival’s main traditions is tszuntszy. It is some rice wrapped in reed leaves and tied with a red ribbon. Tszuntszy is considered the main holiday treat. It is usually cooked in families in the evening before the festival, and offered to guests and relatives during it.
Another tradition is the decoration of houses for holiday. At this time it is common to see herbs and flowers over the door of homes. The Chinese believe that they drive away the evil spirits.