Fri, 08 Jul 2022


Every year, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is the day to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. Influenced by Chinese culture, many countries also have the custom of celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival.


Chinese people eat zongzi during the Dragon Boat Festival. Usually, zongzi is made by wrapping glutinous rice and pork with bamboo leaves and steaming. (Photo via unsplash.com)

Taipei, Taiwan (Merxwire) - On May 5th, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated. Since ancient times, the Dragon Boat Festival has been regarded as one of the traditional Chinese festivals. Since the United Nations listed the Dragon Boat Festival as one of the world's intangible cultural heritages, traditional Chinese culture has gradually entered the world stage. But did you know that the Dragon Boat Festival is not exclusive to the Chinese? Many countries have similar celebrations on the fifth lunar month's fifth day.

According to legend, during the Warring States Period, the patriotic poet Qu Yuan was worried about the country and the people. Still, his career was not smooth, and he finally committed suicide by throwing himself into the Miluo River. Residents in the nearby villages were afraid that the fish and shrimp in the river would eat Qu Yuan's body, so they rowed a boat, beat gongs and drums, and threw rice wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river, hoping that the fish and shrimp would not eat Qu Yuan's body after eating the rice. After many years of evolution, these behaviors have become the origin of dragon boat rowing and eating rice dumplings on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

In 2009, China successfully applied for the World Heritage List, and the Dragon Boat Festival was listed as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. But in fact, not only China but many countries have similar celebrations on the Dragon Boat Festival. Most of them have the meaning of exorcising evil spirits and avoiding evil. Europe area has turned the most exciting dragon boat race in the Dragon Boat Festival into one of the popular sports and entertainment items today. Listed below are some of the country's Dragon Boat Festival activities. Let's get to know them together!

Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan

Taiwanese people believe that the Dragon Boat Festival is the most yang day. If you can successfully stand the tip of the egg on the ground or table at noon, it means good luck will come in the coming year. In addition, as long as you drink the water taken out between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, you can be blessed.

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

Chinese people believe that the Dragon Boat Festival is the beginning of summer, and it is also the time when insects, ants, and other poisons appear. To ward off toxins and evil spirits in hot summer, every household will use heavier-smelling plants such as wormwood and calamus and hang them at the door to prevent mosquitoes from invading. After the progress of the times, the construction technology of modern houses has been optimized, and people also use chemical methods to expel insects. Mosquito and insect control is no longer the main task of the Dragon Boat Festival. However, the customs of inserting mugwort and hanging calamus are still handed down and have become the traditional customs of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Dragon Boat Festival in Japan

The Dragon Boat Festival in Japan is also known as Boys' Day. Since 1948, the Japanese government has designated Boys' Day as one of the national holidays. Families with boys will hang carp streamers on this day and use cypress cakes and rice dumplings as festive food. The Japanese regard the carp swimming upstream as a symbol of strength and courage, carrying the good intentions of parents looking forward to the healthy growth of their children and being brave and strong.

The Dragon Boat Festival in Japan is also known as Boys' Day. Families with boys will hang carp streamers to pray for the children. (Photo via unsplash.com)

Dragon Boat Festival in Korea

In the early days, various regions of Korea had the custom of celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival. With the progress of society, the Gangneung Danoje, which has now become one of the intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations, is a relatively well-preserved custom celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival in Korea. South Korea believes that this day of the gods is also a festival for people and gods to rejoice. Therefore, as early as a month ago, it began to brew divine wine and held different activities such as mountain god sacrifices and ceremonies. The natural gift lasted for more than a month, which was different from the Dragon Boat Festival in Chinese society.

Gangneung Danoje Festival is a unique traditional event of the Dragon Boat Festival in Korea. (Photo via wikipedia.org)

Dragon Boat Festival in Thailand

The Dragon Boat Festival in Thailand also eats zongzi, but the zongzi is full of the rich Thai flavor, with sweet and salty flavors. In addition to glutinous rice and pork, it is also packed with Thai special dessert ginkgo and even mixed with Thai particular coconut juice, which is very delicious.

German Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon boat races have always been the most exciting part of the Dragon Boat Festival. In recent years, various dragon boat races have become popular worldwide. Since the introduction of dragon boat events in Germany in 1989, this folk activity combining sports and culture has been a popular event. It has become a sports competition that Germans look forward to every June.

In response to the changing times, modern people focus on the cultural significance and fun of traditional festivals for traditional festivals. When the epidemic slows down and you can travel abroad again, you may wish to list the countries mentioned above on the travel list to experience the different aspects of traditional culture on the spot.

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