The Dragon Boat Festival (or Duanwu Festival) falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month or June 18th this year on the western calendar. Some traditions of this day have been carried on for centuries, such as making zongzi (tasty rice dumplings with different fillings), hanging up fragrant calamus and mugwort leaves over doors and enjoying the dragon boat races.
On the special day this year, Chengdu Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum bustled with festive joy when 100 primary school children, two foreign families and one Chinese family celebrated this traditional festival together. Take a look at what they did there with me!
"Down sees saturated reds; the town's heavy with blooms…" the verse is from Delightful Rain on a Spring Night, a poem written by the renowned poet Du Fu in ancient China. He also wrote poems about the Dragon Boat Festival as in "for palace robes even my name was there, on Duanwu I received the glory of his grace", in which Du Fu described his gratitude towards the emperor for the gift robe. One hundred primary school students read his poems aloud in front of the Hall of Odes of the museum.
In the Hall of Odes twelve statues of famous poets in ancient China are placed, which showcase a brilliant history of ancient Chinese poetry. These young children were intoxicated by the beautiful poems while reading them aloud, and tried to patch together pieces of memories from ancient times about the festival. After the activity, they also understand better how the traditional customs have changed over time.
In the thatched cottage, the families celebrated the festival with "Du Fu" in ancient costumes who seemed like coming from over a thousand years ago.
"Du Fu" also taught the kids how to distinguish the mugwort and calamus in the medicine garden.
The Chinese family and two foreign families made zongzi and perfume pouches together with girls dressed in traditional Chinese costumes. The children =danced with excitement and joy when they were gifted with the pretty perfume pouches. The place was full of laughter and happiness. The families also gave away zongzi and perfume pouches they made to visitors. (Oops! Sadly I failed to catch any of them…)
Du Fu Thatched Cottage has endowed this traditional festival with a unique feature, where the modern culture meets ancient history and the Chinese culture blends with the West. The activity not only lets participators experience the aesthetics of life in Chengdu, but also allows them to take a glimpse into the Tianfu Culture's heritage and innovation as well as its inclusiveness and confidence.
There are a whole lot more traditional festivals in China. In retrospect, Home in Chengdu has celebrated many occasions with our Chinese and foreign friends. Let's have a look~