Dragon Boat Festival (National Holiday)
Legend has it that once upon a time in ancient China, there was a man loyal to his own country called Qu Yuan. However, he was maliciously accused of treason by other courtiers and the king sentenced him to deportation. During days of exile, Qu Yuan composed series of great poems, expressing his indignation. On May fifth of the lunar calendar, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River out of desperation. For saving Qu Yuan, local people rushed to row boats, and at the same time threw balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish wouldn’t eat Qu Yuan’s body. These actions evolved into the tradition of dragon boat races and eating zhong-zi (glutinous rice dumpling) on May fifth of the lunar calendar. And in memory of Qu Yuan, it’s also called “Poets Day.
During Dragon Boat Festival, everyone takes a day off in Taiwan and dragon boat races are held nationwide. Multiple activities are practiced such as eating zhong-zi, wearing sachets, hanging fragrant herbs like mugworts and calami on the door to drive evil spirits away and egg standing at high noon.