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Happy DuanWu Dragon-Boat Festival !

Today is the DuanWu festival (端午节 duānwǔ jié) in China. This traditional holiday takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the lunar calendar, and it marks the beginning of the heat in summer.

The tradition sait that on this day, when the sun reaches its zenith, the Yang 阳 energy (that of the yin 阴 -yang 阳 couple which is associated with heat and light) reaches its peak. It seems to be the only time of the year when you can easily make an egg stand on its tip. Try ! The water drawn from the well at this precise moment would also be endowed with magical virtues.

In Chinese tradition, balance and harmony are important. In order to compensate for the Yang 阳 energy and the heat, dragon boat 龙舟lóngzhōu competitions are organized all over China. It’s also called the Dragon Boat Festival. "The Dragon Boat Festival" was inscribed in 2009 by UNESCO on the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The festival of DuanWu (端午节 duānwǔ jíe) also commemorates the poet Qu Yuan 屈原 (~ -340 ~ -290) who committed suicide by drowning in Chang Jiang, for his homeland, after the defeat of a fatal war of the kingdom Chu facing the kingdom Qin. His poem Li sao (离骚, lísāo) is considered as a jewel of his time in Chinese literature. Zongzi 粽子 is the traditional food that all Chinese prepare and eat on this special day, and this dish was thrown in the river massively at ancient time in order to attract fish and thus to protect the body of the poet.

There are also many practices that aim to ward off disease demons, as the summer is a season of infectious diseases and insect bites. The children wear small cloth sachets (xiāng bāo 香包) around their necks filled with a powder supposed to protect against mosquitoes; The front door is decorated with protective herbs (菖蒲, chāng pú), and sagebrush (artemisia argyi, 艾草, ài cǎo).

DuanWu Festival is one of the four most important traditional festivals in China. Like all other holidays, it is about: getting together with family and loved ones around a meal and activities, thanking the ancestors and nature who protect us, and keeping the values, traditions and harmony that we sometimes forget.

端午安康duānwǔ ānkāng ! Ling Long wish you Peace and Health for DuanWu festival !

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