Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival (simplified Chinese: 端午节; traditional Chinese: 端午節) is a traditional Chinese holiday which occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar.
The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, so the date of the festival varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. In 2017, it occurred on 30 May; in 2018, on 18 June; in 2019, on 7 June; and in 2020, on 25 June, in 2021, on 14 June.
The fifth lunar month is considered an unlucky month. People believed that natural disasters and illnesses are common in the fifth month. To get rid of the misfortune, people would put calamus, Artemisia, pomegranate flowers, Chinese ixora and garlic above the doors on the fifth day of the fifth month. Since the shape of calamus forms like a sword and with the strong smell of the garlic, it is believed that they can remove the evil spirits.
Another explanation to the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival comes from before the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC). The fifth month of the lunar calendar was regarded as a bad month and the fifth day of the month a bad day. Venomous animals were said to appear starting from the fifth day of the fifth month, such as snakes, centipedes, and scorpions; people also supposedly get sick easily after this day. Therefore, during the Dragon Boat Festival, people try to avoid this bad luck. For example, people may paste pictures of the five poisonous creatures on the wall and stick needles in them. People may also make paper cutouts of the five creatures and wrap them around the wrists of their children. Big ceremonies and performances developed from these practices in many areas, making the Dragon Boat Festival a day for getting rid of disease and bad luck.
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