Dragon boat festival (端午節)
The Duanwu Festival, also often known as the Dragon Boat Festival, is a traditional holiday originating in China, occurring near the summer solstice. It is also known as Zhongxiao Festival commemorating fealty and filial piety.
The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the four most important holidays that is celebrated in the Southwest of China. It has been held annually for 2000 years.
This event was dedicated to Qu Yuan - the first lyric poet in the history of China, which became a symbol of patriotism. He was revered in many parts of China. The poet was very popular among ordinary people and farmers. Years later, when the capital of the kingdom of Chu was captured by troops, he created the poem "Weeping for the capital Ying" and drown oneself into river Milo.
First, farmers tried to save the poet, then find his body, and then decided to scare away from him river spirits and fish. For this, people boarded boats and rowed loudly, accompanying them with drum rumble. According to the legend, in one night the spirit of Qu Yuan told that the cause of his death was a river dragon. So that the dragon does not interfere with the spirit to calm down, he asked to throw rice, wrapped in silk bag, into the river. Centuries later silk bags were replaced with reed leaves, in which rice was boiled. So it became a traditional dish - "tsungzi".
Searching for the poet's body eventually developed into a rowing competition on boats, the nose of which depicts the dragon's head. Such races are held annually.
On this day, dragon boat races are held annually, people eat "tsungzi" and pray for health and removal of intervenient. Teams on boats compete with each other. One person from the team sits in front of boat and hits the drum to maintain the fighting spirit and high movement of race. It is believed that winning team will bring a harvest and a happy life to all people of the village.
Another tradition of the festival is bags with spirits. This bag needled with silk, with silk threads of five colors protects children from evil. During the festival, silk bags are tied to the wrists, ankles and around child’s necks. Five silk threads of five colors have a special meaning. It is believed that they contain magical and healing properties. Children wear such bags or just five threads before their parents take them off. And they can be removed only when the first summer downpour passes. Then children throw bags or threads the into river.