Celebrating Dragon Boat Festival abroad

( ) Updated: 2015-06-18 09:02:38

Celebrating Dragon Boat Festival abroad

A huge koinobori banner flies in Kazo city in Japan's Saitama prefecture, May 3, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Duanwu, or Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, falls on June 20 this year.

The festival is also celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as in Singapore and Malaysia, and countries under China's influence in ancient times, like Vietnam.

Similar festivals outside Chinese-speaking societies include the Tango no Sekku in Japan and Gangneung Danoje Festival in South Korea.

1. Japan

Originally, the Duanwu Festival was called Tango no Sekku in Japan and was celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar. However, after Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar, the date was moved to May 5 each year and the festival became a Children's Day, which was designed as a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948. It celebrates children's personalities and their happiness.

During the day, families fly carp-shaped koinobori banners, one for each child in their house. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, which overcomes all obstacles to swim upstream. Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery.

People also eat sticky rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves and drink calamus wine.

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