The Dragon Boat Festival, also
called Double Fifth Festival, is celebrated on the
fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar.
Dragon Boat Festival is a significant holiday
celebrated in China, and the one with the longest
history. It is one of the most important Chinese
festivals, the other two being the Autumn Moon
Festival and Chinese New
The origin of this summer festival
centers around a scholarly government official
named Chu Yuan. He was a good and respected man,
but because of the misdeeds of jealous rivals he
eventually fell into disfavor in the emperor's
court. Unable to regain the respect of the
emperor, in his sorrow Chu Yuan threw himself into
the Mi Lo River.
Because of their admiration for
Chu Yuan, the local people living adjacent to the
Mi Lo River rushed into their boats to search for
him while throwing rice into the waters to appease
the river dragons. Although they were unable to
find Chu Yuan, their efforts are still
commemorated today during the Dragon Boat
boat races during the Dragon Boat Festival are
traditional customs to attempts to rescue the
patriotic poet Chu Yuan. Chu Yuan drowned on the
fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 B.C.
Chinese citizens now throw bamboo leaves filled
with cooked rice into the water. Therefore the
fish could eat the rice rather than the hero poet.
This later on turned into the custom of eating
celebration is a time for protection from evil and
disease for the rest of the year. It is done so by
different practices such as hanging healthy herbs
on the front door, drinking nutritious
concoctions, and displaying portraits of evil's
nemesis, Chung Kuei. If one manages to stand an
egg on it's end at exactly 12:00 noon, the
following year will be a lucky one.