From the time of early China up to this present day, in remembrance of Qu Yuan, dragon boat races are still performed. Every fifth day of the fifth lunar month which is the anniversary of his death, people eat zong zi, and do several other activities.
There are a lot of things to see in Dragon Boat races and the most thrilling part of the festival is the crowd of people that are there to witness and participate in the event. Generally, Dragon Boats are brilliantly painted and decorated with some shades of Chinese old ancient tradition. It varies from 40 to 100 feet in length, including their heads which shaped-like a hearty dragons, while the firm end has a flaking tail. It has the capability to handle 80 powered rowers including drummer and a flag-catcher. Before the start of the festival, a dragon goes through a certain ritual called “brought to life”. This is done by painting the eyes in a sanctified ceremony. Races have no definite numbers of boats that wants to participate and compete, with the winner being the first team to grab a flag at the end of the course. Once a year, dragon races are held all over China, Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries around the globe.
Zong zi is a glutinous rice ball, wrapped in corn leaves with fillings which are the traditional food for the Dragon Boat Festival. The fillings can be steamed beans, egg, fruits, dates, sweet potato, mushrooms, walnuts, meat, or a combination of them.
Another part of the Double Fifth Day is the timing: at the beginning of summer, when infections are possible to strike, talisman is being worn by the people to dissuade evil spirits. At the doorsteps, you can find Zhong Kui’s picture, an evil spirits protector. During these days, adults can taste Xiong Huang Wine, while children can bring scented silk pouches, because they believe that these acts can avert evil. Some people believe that balancing a rare egg on its end at exactly noon on Double Fifth Day will bring you prosperity for the whole year.
Indeed, Dragon Boat Festival is filled with excitement and thrill. Not to mention the reflection of Chinese traditions and cultures that are so wealthy and interesting revealed through this festival.
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