The Dragon Boat Festival is coming soon! So, how much do you know about this festival? Foodies, I bet you’ve heard of the zongzi! Overworked people, you probably can’t wait for the holiday! Sporty people, I guess you’ve heard about dragon boat racing…But did you know some lesser-known facts about the holiday? Let Miracle Mandarin tell you!
Chinese people have very different preferences about flavor in China depending on the area they live in.
When it comes to zongzi, basically northern Chinese are fans of sweet fillings while southern Chinese only fancy salty zongzi.
The war of two flavors officially started in 2012. Each side wanted to prove that their version of zongzi is the authentic, traditional kind, by holding a vote on the internet.
In 2013, sweet zongzi won by being brought to outer space by the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, but salty zongzi turned the tables by winning the internet poll the next year.
Chinese people believe that the 5th lunar month is the time “bad insects” reproduce rapidly, since the weather is hot and humid.
Back in the old days, snakes, scorpions, geckos, centipedes and toads were defined as “5 poisonous animals” and Dragon Boat Festival was also called “poison day.”
On this day big purges took place to kill those poisonous animals. First, people pasted animal-shaped red paper cuttings on the wall and pinned them using silver needles to represent “killing the poison.”
Then they would spray reaglar wine (Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar, which contains arsenic) on the walls, doors and windows, while also drinking reaglar wine. Fortunately people stopped drinking the wine after it was discovered it had toxic effects.
There are always many legends and folktales behind Chinese festivals, and it’s a fun way to learn about Chinese culture.
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