Home Chinese Traditions Chinese Dragon-Boat Festival
The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival (Long Zhou Sai, or Sai Long Zhou) occurs on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Like any traditional Chinese festival or holiday, this Festival is celebrated according to the Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar.
Long Zhou Sai is characterized by dragon boat racing. Long Zhou (Longzhou) means "dragon boat", and sai means "race' in Chinese.
Dragon boats are shaped like a dragon, narrow in width with a relatively long body. They normally are 3 ft (1 meter) wide and 45ft (14-15 meters) long with about 23 members, including one drummer who is a vital force for the competition.
The drummer of the team usually sits at the head of the race boat, uniting each individual of the team with the drum beat.
Since the Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, it is also known as Double Fifth Day (or Double Five Day). (The other two Chinese traditional festivals with "double day" in their names are the Double Seven Day and Double Nine Day. The Double Seven Day is the Chinese Valentine's Day and the the Bouble Nine Day the Chinese Senior Day. )
Besides racing boats, Chinese people also have a special food called Zong Zi for this occasion. And this is because people want to remember a poet and minister called Qu Yuan (Quyuan) from the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC).
The Legend and Origin Of the Dragon Boat Festival is closely associated with him.
The day for dragon-boat racing is now a Chinese goverment sponsored holiday. It was prohibited during the Cultural Revolution.
The drummer on a racing dragon boat is the soul of the team
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