Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival June 10-16

Written by ONCEKids staff writer Aidan Metzger

Excitement is growing in China as the Annual Dragon Boat Festival is approaching. This festival is a lunar holiday, occurring on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, this year falling on June 10 and lasting until June 16. 

It is unique and special in the way that it is one of the festivals with the longest and most significant history. The purpose of the celebration is to protect people from evil and disease for the remainder of the year

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In order to encourage this protection, practices such as hanging healthy herbs on the front door, drinking and eating nutritious foods and concoctions, and displaying pictures of Chung Kuei, evil's enemy, are performed by the Chinese people. Standing an egg of it's end at exactly 12 pm is another practice which is meant to make the following year a very lucky one. 

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The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated with races in boats shaped like dragons. The boat races are custom to this festival because in 277 B.C. patriotic poet, Chu Yuan, drowned on the fifth day of the fifth month, and the boat races are used to represent the attempts to rescue their hero

Another way to honor and celebrate Chu Yuan's life is to throw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water. 

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