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Duanwu Festival–not only Quyuan, dragon boat and Zongzi

2015-June-17       Source: Newsgd.com

The Duanwu Festival (also known as “Dragon Boat Festival”) is one of the most conventional festivals in China and has been celebrated for thousands of years. But what lies behind the festival’s long history?

The name Duanwu literally means the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar. According to Chinese myths, this is an ominous day in the ominous month when pestilence and poisonous creatures outbreak actively. It could decide people’s life and death. The myth may also explain why people assumed that distinguished people had died on that day.

“端午”一词字面上的意义是农历的五月初五。根据中国的神话故事,这是恶月中的恶日,瘟疫和五毒都会集中在这一天爆发。这一天可能会决定人们的生死。这一传说也许能解释为什么人们认为在这一天死亡的人是特殊的。

In order to protect people from the problems that may arise on this unwelcome day, people traditionally cut branches of wormwood plants, boil them, or hang them above their doors, to repel pests and evil spirits. Some people even bathe in wormwood water, believing it to be a good way to ensure a safe summer free from mosquitoes.

为了让人们能平安度过这一“恶日”,人们通常将烹熟的艾叶悬挂于门上,以抵御瘟疫和邪气。一些人甚至会用艾叶水沐浴,以确保自己能在夏日抵御蚊虫的侵袭。

Whether as a day to commemorate the great, or a day to ward off evil spirits, Duanwu has combined many unique traditions and customs over the years, which now give people another good excuse to celebrate. Nowadays, people across China usually eat Zongzi, hold dragon boat racing and drink realgar wine to celebrate the festival.

无论是为了纪念伟人,还是驱邪,端午在漫长的演进历程中融合了非常多独特的传统与习俗,这也成为了人们庆祝它的最佳理由。现在,中国人通常用吃粽子,赛龙舟和喝雄黄酒的方式庆祝端午。

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Editor: Monica Liu

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