Zhonghe Festival: When You Eat Dragon’s Ears, Bones, Scales, and Beard

feb-546x350-water-dragon Zhonghe Festival, also known as the Blue Dragon Festival, has been an official festival since the Tang and Song Dynasties, and is celebrated on the first day of the second month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It celebrates the waking of the dragon that brings rain. This holiday is closely related with the ancient Chinese agricultural culture. Chinese farmers superstitiously believe that celebrating the Blue Dragon Festival can ensure a good harvest next season with “favorable rainfall and great plowing conditions”. This traditional holiday/festival is supposed to welcome the earliest signs of spring. In 2017, the Zhonghe Festival is on February 27th.

Zhonghe Festival is no longer popularly celebrated in modern Chinese society. People from outside of China have rarely even heard of this festival. Those who still celebrate this festival will usually get a haircut on that day because they believe they can receive luck from Dragon by cutting their hair. Also, people are likely to clean their house again and eat “dragon foods”- dumplings, pancakes, noodles and so on.

In China, to express people’s hope for rain and a good harvest, they eat dumplings which symbolize “dragon’s ears”, a Chinese doughnut for “dragon bones,” pancakes representing “dragon’s scales” and noodles which are the “dragon’s beard”. Moreover, some people may go to local temples to worship local Dragon God and Land God.

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