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Customs you need to know about Dragon Boat Festival in Guangzhou

2015-June-20       Source: Newsgd.com

Dragon Boat Festival is around the corner. Guangzhou has very special customs in Dragon Boat Festival. For them this festival last very long. Now let me introduce you some traditional customs you need to know.

[photo / dfic]

Dragon Boat Festival is around the corner. Guangzhou has very special customs in Dragon Boat Festival. For them this festival last very long. Now let me introduce you some traditional customs you need to know.

●Origin of dragon boat

In ancient times people living in Guangdong belonged to Baiyue Race (百越). People generally lived along the rivers and believed that there was a god in the river. Therefore they applied the shape of dragon when making boats, and let dragon boats floating in the river to worship river gods and hope to come under the umbrella of river gods. Gradually this has become a tradition.

●A traditional dragon boat

Traditionally, in one dragon boat there are gongs and drums, colorful flags, special umbrellas and a memorial tablet. The memorial tablet is to worship various gods, and is thought to be the spirit of the whole dragon boat. 6 special umbrellas will be placed in each boat, standing for people under the umbrella of the god.

●Why are dragon boats hidden in the mud?

Traditional dragon boats are made of rosewood. Rosewood could be easily damaged by sun exposure. Therefore, ancient people thought out the idea of hiding dragon boats in the mud of the river bottom so that boats can be kept for tens of years.

●What should you not to do when watching dragon boat ceremonies?

When watching dragon boat ceremonies, you should not say anything bad in front of dragon boats, since villagers want only good words.

●Who should you pay attention to when watching dragon boat ceremonies?

You should pay attention to three people: the drummer, the flagmen and the one setting off firecrackers. The drummer is the sole of the dragon boat, controlling the rhythm of the boat’s moving by playing the drum. Flagmen in the bow and stern of the boat perform with flags to the rhythm of the drum. The man setting off firecrackers takes charge of communicate with other boats and audiences by firing crackers.

●What is “three in and three out”?

This is a traditional ceremony when dragon boats from neighboring villages end their visits. They will ride the boat out of the village and come back, out again and come back again, and leave. This is how they express their thanks to the host village.

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Editor: Will

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