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Dragon Boat Festival 端午節
In the Chinese lunar calendar: 5th day of Fifth Month
The Gregorian calendar: June 12th, 2013
The Origin of the Dragon Boat Festival
May 28, 2013
By Paul K.P. Wong (April 5, 2010)
|Albert Wong, the late chairman of the Alberta Dragon Boat Race Foundation from 1992 to 1999.|
The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is on May 5 in the lunar calendar, it is the most important summer holiday in China. This year, in the solar calendar, it will be held on June 12th, 2013.
According to the ancient Chinese imperial calendar, the Dragon Boat Festival was held in the Fifth month (May), it is known as a popular seasonal disease outbreak period -- summer, which commonly known as "evil" in the old days. During this time, all acting in the aim of keeping with the principle of rest, otherwise, people will get sick easily.
Traditionally, the Dragon Boat Festival is in commemoration of Qu Yuan (屈原). Qu Yuan (340 - 278 BC) was a famous Chinese scholar, poet and minister to the King Huai (懷王) from the State of Chu (楚國) in southern China, during the Warring States Period (戰國時代). His works are mostly found in an anthology of poetry known as “Chu Ci” (楚辭).
Albert Wong Memorial Cup.
According to the legend, Qu Yuan jumped into the River Miluo (汨羅江), on that day was May 5 -- the Fifth day of the Fifth month of the traditional Chinese calendar. It is also called Duanwu Festival (端午節). So far, most people are familiar with the Dragon Boat Festival is to commemorate him, which is commonly known in English as the “Dragon Boat Festival” or “Double Fifth (May 5)”. In the field of folk culture, the Chinese people to the Dragon Boat Festival Dragon with boat races and eating those glutinous rice tamales are linked with the poet. Since then, every year that day, it should be dragon boat racing, eating those glutinous rice tamales, drinking wine to commemorate Qu Yuan. Some areas in China, in the festival, people insert in the iris or wormwood on the door, which of course is to prevent the diseases or evils attack their families.
Traditional Dragon Boat’s Head and Flag.
Dragon Boat Race is still only one of Chinese traditional festivals, not an official sport. Until 1976, the first one held in Shau Kei Wan Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, which opened a dragon boat activity in modern, international, standardized sport. The nine fishermen race except the Hong Kong team, has a team has been participating from Nagasaki, Japan. Then the dragon boat races have brought to Japan, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and other countries by active participation. In 1985, Hong Kong held its first International Women's Championship, so this water sports extended to female athletes. For the further promotion of the program, the Dragon Boat Festival in 1991 wad held at the Yueyang City(岳陽市) in the province of Hunan(湖南省) -- a second home of Qu Yuan -- the first International Dragon Boat Festival Dragon Boat event in China.
2012 Dragon Boat Race in the Calgary Glenmore Reservoir.
The First Dragon Boat Festival in Calgary
The first Dragon Boat Festival was brought into Calgary by Albert Wong, an entrepreneur who emigrated from Hong Kong, and was the chairman of the Alberta Dragon Boat Race Foundation from 1992 to 1999. The organization was incorporated in Alberta in July 1992, helped to link up the first boat race held here in Glenmore Reservoir in 1992, which was in combination of the first Hong Kong Festival – a program to promote Hong Kong’s culture and business in Canada, which was held in October. With the sponsorships by the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, the Calgary Canoe Club, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Husky Energy, Cathay Pacific Airways and HSBC Bank, the race was held successfully with multicultural entertainment in Calgary. Today, it becomes one of the multicultural events in the city.
YEAR OF THE SNAKE
Source: Snow Cahill
The Snake (蛇) is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac and related to the Chinese calendar, as well as in related East Asian zodiacal or calendrical systems. The Year of the Snake is associated with the earthly branch symbol 巳.
This year Chinese New Years will fall on the February 10th, 2013.
A year for reflection, planning and searching answers. The year of the Snake, is good time for shrewd dealings, political affairs and coups d’état. People will be more likely to scheme and ponder over matters before acting on them. An auspicious year for commerce and industry. Solutions and compromises can be arrived at, but not without some mutual distrust at first. The Snake likes to resolve his differences one way or another. If he fails and things cannot be peacefully settled, then he will declare war.
Looking back into history, we find that the year of the Snake has never been tranquil. Perhaps this is because it is the strongest negative force in the cycle and it follows the Dragon year, which is the strongest positive one. Many disasters which had their beginning in the year of the Dragon tend to culminate in the year of the Snake. These two signs are very closely related and the calamities of the Snake years often resulted from excesses committed during the Dragon's reign.
This will be a lively time for romance, courtship and scandals of all sorts. A good year to pursue the arts. Fashion will become more elegant and fluid; music and the theater will blossom; and people will strive for a more sophisticated life. Notable contributions will also be made by science and technology.
The venerable wisdom of the Snake will be evident in many facets of our life, particularly in those requiring decisions. Although everything may look refreshingly quiet on the surface, the year of the Snake is always unpredictable. The Snake's cool and collected front hides the deep and mysterious ways of his nature. It should be noted that once the Snake uncoils to strike, he moves like lightning and nothing can stop him. Similarly, changes that occur during the Snake's year can be as sudden and devastating.
Tread lightly and be more cautious this year. Gambling and speculation is strictly taboo. The consequences will be overwhelming. The Snake is not merciful.
Whatever else happens, the Snake will give us faith in our convictions and coerce us to act and to act forcefully during his reign. This is not a year for fence-sitters.
Source: The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes by Theodora Lau
The Meaning of the Chinese character
By Paul K.P. Wong
The Chinese character “福” (pronounced “folk”) means "Good Fortune”, “Good Luck" and “Blessing” -- a gift is given from God, mother nature or Heaven.
The composition of this Chinese character includes clothing, cultivated land, homes and healthy families".
In Chinese culture, if we have all those things above, it means we are the fortunate people. In other words, no matter if we are Chinese or not, we, the people, do desire the prosperity.
However, on the background of the picture, there should have ninety-nine different writings of the character, all together are a hundred different styles, it means one hundred or all kinds of good fortune/luck, and lots of blessing.