Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dragon Boat/ペーロン/龍舟

Today, 6/12, is Duanwu, a festival held on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Asian Lunar calendar.  There is a story about this day where a government official, who was ever so good and filled to the brim with moral authority, ended up getting on the emperor's bad side because he stuck to his principles and the emperor was crooked/had crooked advisors.  He ended up committing suicide in protest over the government's bad rule by drowning himself in a river, but the people in the town where he killed himself knew that he was a good person, so they rode out in their boats and beat drums to scare away the fish and threw in rice cakes so the fish would eat the rice and not the official's body.  As a result, to this day people ride in these long "Dragon Boats", eat rice cakes, and have races every year on Duanwu.
There are races in Tainan, in the Anping area, as well.  The races actually started last Saturday, and Wednesday is the final race.  I participated with the Cheng Kung Mandarin Center team on Monday.  It was pretty fun, though I seem to have hurt my obliques on my right side.  :(

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