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The Double Fifth Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. This traditional Chinese festival has a history of over 2,000 years and is celebrated in many parts of the world.
The festival is celebrated for various reasons, but the most popular story is about the patriotic poet Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a minister in the state of Chu during the Warring States period. He was exiled by the king and wrote many famous poems during his exile. When he heard that his homeland had been conquered by the enemy state of Qin, he threw himself into the Miluo River and drowned. The local people who admired him raced out in boats to try and save him, but were too late. They threw rice dumplings into the river as a sacrifice to his spirit and to keep the fish from eating his body.
The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated in many ways. The most popular activity is dragon boat racing, where teams of rowers paddle in long, narrow boats to the beat of a drum. The boats are decorated with dragon heads and tails, and the rowers wear colorful uniforms. The races are exciting and competitive, with the winning team receiving a prize.
Another popular activity is eating zongzi, a traditional Chinese food made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. The rice is often filled with meat, nuts, or sweet beans. Zongzi can be steamed or boiled, and are eaten as a snack or as a meal during the festival.
Other traditions include hanging mugwort and calamus leaves on doors and windows to ward off evil spirits, and drinking realgar wine, a type of rice wine believed to have medicinal properties.
The Double Fifth Festival is not only celebrated in China, but also in many other countries with Chinese communities, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is a time for families and friends to come together, enjoy traditional food, and participate in cultural activities.
In recent years, the Dragon Boat Festival has become more popular around the world, with dragon boat races being held in many cities. It is a great way to celebrate Chinese culture and promote teamwork and sportsmanship.
The Double Fifth Festival is a time to remember and honor the patriotic poet Qu Yuan, and to celebrate Chinese culture and traditions. It is a colorful and exciting festival that brings people together and promotes unity and harmony.