What Is Dragon Boat Festival and What Kind of Festival Is It?

Posted in Dragon Boat Festival on June 17, 2013

Dragon Boat Festival is also called Double Fifth Festival that’s celebrated in East and South Asia such as China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc. It is a traditional festival to remember a Chinese poet named Ju Quan. The festival’s wish is also to provide protection from diseases for the rest of the year. Many fun activities are played at this festival.  The most famous is the Dragon Boat racing. Communities, companies and organizations form teams for this fun competition.  The dragon boats look different from ordinary boats. They are usually long and narrow and the head and tail of the boats are decorated with dragon heads and tails painted in colors such as red, blue, black and grey.  Each boat will be a team and depending on the size of the boat, there are usually 12 to 20 men on the boat to form the team. Obviously all competing teams will be the size. And the teams race to determine who is the fast to reach the finishing line. There is a drummer on each boat, which is located at the front of the boat. The drummer will be facing the team members, and hitting the drum hard to yell and pump up the spirit of the race.

Eating rice wrap called Zongzi is another tradition for this holiday.  There are all kinds of Zongzi such as meat, chestnut, salted egg yolk, ham, spicy Zongzi, etc.  There may be slightly different traditions for celebrating Dragon Boats Day, but eating Zongzi is the same across China, Japan and Korea.

Special necklaces are made for people of all ages to wear. The pendants are little colorful bags filled with spices.  For kids, people embroider the pictures of animals like tigers, leopards, monkeys.   The spices are knows to drive away insects. When activities go into the night, glow necklaces are also used to add the festival.

Dragon Boat Festival is typically in June each year, which is close to the forth of July celebration in the US. Each year bulk quantity of glow necklaces are used at 4th of July firework shows. The lights from fireworks correlate with lights emitted from the glow necklaces.

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