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May 28, 2009

Dragon boat festival is celebrated with exciting races of boats decorated like dragons. On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, teams row their boats to drum beats, racing to grab a flag at the end of the course. 

Besides the spectacular boat racing, wrapping zong zi is a popular holiday activity. These sticky rice treats memorialize Qu Yuan, a minister and a poet during the Warring States Period. When he drowned himself after failing yo end government corruption, people threw zong zi into the river to discourage the fish from eating him. 

Other holiday customs include hanging medicinal herbs on the front door and trying to stand an egg on its end at noon. Like so many other ancient traditions, these actions are supposed to prevent evil and encourage good luck.

Whether we believe in these custom or not, Dragon Boat Festival is a great beginning to the summer season.