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Dragon Boat Festival

Names of Dragon Boat Festiva

Dragon Boat Festival has more than twenty names and each has its own meaning and origins. It is called Duanwu Jie in Mandarin and Tuen Ng in Cantonese, and is also known as ‘Dumpling Festival’ and ‘Double Fifth Festival’.

Dragon Boat Festival

It is called Dragon Boat Festival, or Longzhou Jie in Chinese, because of its close association with dragon boats. Chinese people attach great cultural significance to dragons. The two main activities during the festiva'”are eating zongzi (rice dumplings) and boat races, and both are related to dragons. Zongzi have long been thrown into rivers as offerings and sacrifices to the Dragon God on lunar month 5 day 5, while dragon boats are used in races traditionally held on this day. So, it is also called the Dragon Boat Festival.

Why Is Dragon Boat Festival So Important?

Many believe that Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan,a famous Chinese poet, and minister known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry, who eventually became a national hero.

However, it is evidenced that the Dragon Boat Festival actually came before the death of Qu Yuan. Its earliest origin is related to the fifth lunar month which was known to ancients as ‘the month of poison’. During the early hot days of summer, people would easily fall ill and epidemics spread. This made the month seem evil, so people in ancient times regarded it as an important time to prevent diseases and keep evil spirits away.