My American Friends' First Impressions on Dragon Boat Festival

Source: | 2024-06-10 13:42

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The Dragon Boat Festival, one of China's traditional festivals, is just around the corner. Also known as Double Fifth Festival, the holiday which falls on June 10 this year, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. This festival not only has a long history but also carries rich cultural connotations, and its diverse customs have attracted many international friends.

Dragon boat racing is one of the iconic activities of the Dragon Boat Festival. Legend has it that when Qu Yuan drowned himself in the river, people rowed boats to rescue him, which later evolved into the tradition of dragon boat racing. Dragon boat racing is a challenging and team-oriented sport, as well as a traditional ritual of blessing, symbolizing unity, courage, and strength. Whether watching or participating in dragon boat races, one can feel the unity and bravery of the Chinese people.

Zongzi, an indispensable food during the Dragon Boat Festival, is made primarily from glutinous rice wrapped around fillings such as beans, meat, or other ingredients, then wrapped in bamboo leaves or other materials, tied with strings, and steamed or boiled. Tasting zongzi is not only a pleasure but also an opportunity to understand Chinese traditional culture. It is said that eating zongzi commemorates the death of Qu Yuan and prevents Qu Yuan's body from being eaten by fish and shrimp, thus becoming an indispensable part of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Additionally, the Dragon Boat Festival also features other traditional customs such as hanging calamus, inserting mugwort, and avoiding the "Five Poisons". It is said that on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, people hang mugwort and calamus leaves, and also write the characters for "Five Poisons"on their doors or windows, such as snakes, scorpions, centipedes, spiders, and geckos, to ward off evil, praying for peace and health. These traditional customs not only add to the festive atmosphere but also inherit the traditional culture of the Chinese nation.

The Dragon Boat Festival is approaching. How do American friends understand the customs of the Dragon Boat Festival? Let's hear the first impressions of this festival from American friends and experience the cultural resonance that transcends national boundaries. (Video: Tong Lin and Zhou Jinmiao)