世界掠影 ( 2 )
Duan Wu – Around the World ( Part 2 )
How is the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated around the world
The Dragon Boat Festival, otherwise known as the Duanwu or Tuen Ng Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday whose origins date back to the Warring States era (475 - 221 BC).
One of China's major traditional festivals, the Dragon Boat Festival has been celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar for millennia.
China, as the place of origin, is abundant in celebrations and traditions, with diverse festivities that vary from region to region throughout the country, with zongzi – rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves – and dragon boat races being two of the most distinctive and representative elements of the festival.
（来自世界各地的龙舟队在由中国香港特别行政区政府举办的香港龙舟嘉年华上 2018.6.22 图源自视觉中国 ）
（Dragon boat teams from around the world participate in the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival in south China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, June 22, 2018. /VCG）
Many Asian countries, such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, also celebrate the festival with various activities and customs influenced by traditional Chinese culture.
It has also been introduced to countries in Europe and the Americas by Chinese immigrants, and is mainly celebrated with dragon boat races.
Japan: Celebrated as Boys' Day
China's Duanwu Festival and its culture were introduced to Japan after the Heian period (794–1185). Originally called Tango no Sekku, the festival fell on the fifth day of the fifth moon in the Chinese calendar, which then was switched to the Gregorian calendar and moved to May 5.
(Some 800 blue carp streamers fly in Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on May 5, 2019, in memory of children killed in the March 2011 tsunami that devastated the region. /VCG）
On this day, the Japanese, like the Chinese, eat special food that resembles zongzi and drink calamus wine to fend off evil spirits.
Kashiwa-mochi, sticky rice cakes filled with red bean jam and wrapped in oak leaves, and chimaki, sticky sweet rice wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf, are popular traditional food served during the festival.
As the word “calamus” and the phrase meaning “advocate strength” are homophones in the Japanese language, the festival was widely regarded as a festival for boys and celebrated as Boy's Day in Japan. It was later renamed Children's Day in 1948.
Wishing that children grow in strength and health, Japanese households will, on this day, raise the koinobori, which are carp-shaped windsocks that blow like banners in the wind and symbolize hope.
South Korea: The Gangneung Danoje Festival
（The Gangneung Danoje Festival, is the biggest and best-known event, which runs for more than 20 days and culminates on the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar. /VCG）
Originally called Surit-nal, the Dano Festival is derived from the Chinese Duanwu Festival. It was adopted during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) in ancient Korea.
The festival involves colorful celebration activities. Among them, the local festival named Gangneung Danoje, also known as the Gangneung Danoje Festival, is the biggest and best-known event.
It runs for more than 20 days and culminates on the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar, the day when the Dano falls.
With the longest history of Korea's local festivals, the Danoje sees locals hold a series of activities such as throwing pots, wrestling, swinging, taekwondo competitions, and college football matches to help pray for a good harvest, health and happiness.
U.S., Canada and Germany: Dragon boat racing enjoys great
（More than a showcase of athleticism and teamwork, dragon boat racing has a legacy that's over 2,500 years old. /VCG）
Besides for Asian countries, the United States, Canada and European countries like Germany also celebrate the Duanwu Festival, mainly with dragon boat races.
The original tradition has grown to be a popular sport in the U.S. with more than 400 professional dragon boat teams nationwide, according to the United States Dragon Boat Federation.
With thriving Chinese communities, Canada's Toronto and Vancouver are famous for their annual dragon boat festivals.
In addition to competitive races, the festival also includes various cultural activities such as concerts and has become a massive event in the city's social calendar that both locals and tourists flock to each year.
（Members of Boulder's Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu organization participate in a dragon dance during the opening ceremony for the 18th annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan's Lake Park on July 28, 2018. /VCG）
In Europe, the tradition was introduced to Germany over 30 years ago. The first edition of the Dragon Boat Festival was officially launched in Hamburg in 1989 to mark the 800th anniversary of the city's port.
The event was then moved to Frankfurt in 1991 and named the Frankfurt International Dragonboat Festival.
More than a showcase of athleticism and teamwork, dragon boat racing has a legacy that's over 2,500 years old and now has a massive international following with many associations and clubs.