Dali Holiday Calendar – June 2014

Duanwu Festival – June 2

Also known as Dragon Boat Festival and the Double Fifth, is a traditional holiday originating in China and associated with a number of East Asian and Asian societies. In 2008, it was recognized as a public holiday in mainland China for the first time since the 1940s. The festival has also long been celebrated in Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. Equivalent and related festivals in Asia include the Tango no Sekku in Japan, Dano in Korea.

The festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. This is the source of the alternative name of “Double Fifth”. The focus of the celebrations includes eating rice dumplings called “zongzi”, drinking regular wine xionghuangjiu (雄黃酒), and racing dragon boats.

The sun is considered to be at its strongest around the time of summer solstice. The sun, like the Chinese dragon, traditionally represents masculine energy, whereas the moon, like the phoenix, traditionally represents feminine energy. The summer solstice is considered the peak annual moment of male energy while the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, represents the peak annual moment of feminine energy. The masculine image of the dragon is thus naturally associated with Duanwu.