23 June 2012
Following its 2000-year-old tradition, China celebrated Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, 23 June 2012. The Dragon Boat Festival is said to be observed on fifth day of every fifth month of the year according to Chinese lunar calender. Thousands of cheering crowd gathered to see hundreds of colorful boats participating in the festival on Saturday in Hong Kong.
In addition to boat race, the festival is marked by eating of 'Zongzi'- a pyramid shape made by bamboo or reed leaves having fiiling of glutinous rice . Zongzi has become the most traditional food in Chinese culture and has also been loved by merchants and overseas countries.
Dragon boat festival, also called 'Duanwu Festival', is celebertaed to commemorate the death of iconic patriot Qu Yuan thousand of years back, who had committed suicide by flinging himself into the Miluo Rive when his motherland got invaded by enemy in Warring States Period (475-221 BC).
A folklore expert,Huang Huashan, told about the tradition and associating beliefs of people that, "The race was neither feisty nor riddled with profits. People believe that to win the race will bring them good luck for a whole year."
Highlighting the rituals performed on the China's sacred day, Chen Jing, deputy director of cultural and natural heritage institute of Najing University, said: "To avoid bites from mosquitos and other insects, ancient Chinese hung fragrant herbs at home and attached sachets containing fragrant herbs to their clothes. And people drink wine to drive away diseases, and clean their rooms with brooms to keep demons away."
The Dargon boat festival received warm global attention from all over the world over the last few years. It is also now celeberated in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.
Source: The Daily Mail/ The China Daily