Dragon Boat Festival / Tuen Ng
is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.
There are different findings about the origin of Tuen Ng. The mostly
widely accepted one is about the patriotic scholar-statesman Chu Yuan who drowned himself
to protest against the emperor. Chu Yuan worked very hard to offer good counsel
to the emperor but the emperor won't listen.
2013 Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival races
respect Chu Yuan. When they heard that he was drowned, they jumped on boats to
search for him. This is a part of what the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates
every year. Failing to find Chu Yuan, people hit drums and making loud noised
hoping to scare the fish and won't touch Chu Yuan's body. People lived
along the river also put cooked rice in the river as a sacrifice. But then
they found that the fish got the rice so people wrapped the cooked rice in
bamboo leaves. This evolves to present day's rice dumplings.
Rice dumpling - rice
dumplings are around for a long time. It was popular during summer in
Eastern Han dynasty. During West Tsin dynasty, people started to have rice
dumplings on Dragon Boat Festival. There are basically savory or sweet
rice dumplings. Each family made lots of dumplings so that there are
plenty for themselves, for relatives, friends and teachers. The savory
ones are made of glutinous rice, fresh meat, salted meat or ham. Sweet
ones are made of glutinous rice, bean paste, dates' paste and honey. he
modern version you found in Hong Kong is slight different now. The savory
ones may have peanuts or green bean or meet and ham and they all have a salty
egg yolk in it. The sweet ones have red bean paste or lotus seed paste
Superstition - Besides the
death of Chu Yuan, the fifth lunar month is considered an unlucky month. People
believed that natural disasters and illness are common in the fifth month.
Superstition is unavoidable. Most
families hang calamus and Artemisia above their doors, kitchen and bed to help to get rid of the
misfortune. These are the leaves different gods and legendary heroes used
to get rid of evil spirits. Portraits of gods could be purchased to put on
the front door to protect the whole family too.
believed that Dragon Boat Festival Day is a great day for collecting herbs as
medicine. They believe the herbs work better if you pick it and prepare it
on this day. Various kinds of herbs are also boiled in the water and
people bathe in it to help staying healthy.
Dragon boat race and other findings -
However, some people found that Tuen Ng actually started before the death of Chu
Yuan. It was a dragon related festival to start with and the dragon boat
race did not take place on Tuen Ng day until Ming dynasty.
Dragon is the god that rules the water world. Dragon Boats feature the
head and tail of dragon. After the dragon boats sailed in the water, the
water is blessed and people nowadays still swim in this 'dragon boat water'
hoping to stay healthy for the rest of the year.
Dragon boat races are so
widely accepted that it became an international competition.
|Getting ready for the race!
Pack full of audience.
Dragon Boat e-Cards:
Well here in Hong Kong we don't send greeting cards for festivals like this
but if you do want to send a themed note to a Chinese friend in another country
then you can actually get
Dragon Boat Festival E-Cards now! That's amazing I think.