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Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Double Fifth Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday with more than two thousand years of history. It begins on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Because the fifth month is considered an unlucky time of year, many traditions exist to rid people of misfortune. For example, parents give their children five threads of colored silk to keep bad spirits away during the Festival. Food and drink play important roles in the festivities, especially zongzi, which is sticky rice with filling and wrapped in bamboo leaves, and realgar wine, which is used to fight disease, snakes, and bad spirits. The Dragon Boat Festival is strongly associated with the legend of Qu Yuan, a poet and court official who drowned himself in 278 BCE to protest imperial corruption. Dragon boat racing is said to originate from the villagers who rushed out in boats to rescue Qu Yuan and who thrashed the water with paddles to prevent his body from being eaten by fish. Learn more about the Dragon Boat Festival: Editing: Jackson Harvey Research: Khamo Kyi [Catalog No. CFV11260; © 2019 Smithsonian Institution]
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2 min 4 sec
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