Dragon Boat Festival

| 2016-06-12 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

Cherishing the memory of patriotic poet Qu Yuan is a tradition on the Dragon Boat Festival.


Toads and tadpoles don’t dare show up during Dragon Boat Festival.


Note: In North China, people believe that toads are extremely toxic. But these toxins can be used to create Chinese medicine that can help people relieve “internal heat” or fever during summer. Thus, it is a tradition to catch toads during the ancient Dragon Boat Festival in Henan Province and other northern regions.  

Hang willow branches on the door during Qingming Festival and hang mugwort and calamus instead during the Dragon Boat Festival.


Note: During the Dragon Boat Festival, families often hang mugwort and calamus in front of their doors. The unique fragrance of mugwort and calamus can drive mosquitoes and flies away, and is said to purify the air. Mugwort can also be used in Chinese medicine and it is a significant ingredient for moxibustion therapy. Decorating one’s house with these herbs symbolizes the pursuit of good health and avoiding illness.

Drink realgar wine, keep illness away.


Note: Realgar is a toxic arsenic sulphide mineral that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Shanxi locals grind realgar into powder and soak realgar powder in white spirits. During the Dragon Boat Festival, people drink realgar wine as it is said to neutralize insect poison and prevent malaria. With recent research showing potential health risks such as cancer, however, use of realgar is on the decline.

Don’t put away winter clothing before eating Dragon Boat zongzi; don’t take off warm coats even after eating Dragon Boat zongzi.

Note: Around the Dragon Boat Festival, rainy and chilly weather in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, is very common, this proverb reminds people in South China that they should keep warm at this time, even before and after the Dragon Boat Festival.