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The Dragon Boat Festival :Double Fifth Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Double Fifth Festival, is now known as a day to commemorate the Archpoet Qu Yuan. Customs include dragon boat racing and eating zongzi (sticky rice dumpling), which are traditionally associated with dragon worship. The ancient people of the Kingdom of Wu believed they are the descendants of the Dragon, through sympathetic magic, they perform fertility rites and make offerings to the dragons and ancestors for abundance.

 

The fifth day of the fifth moon is believed to be the most poisonous day, as the height of summer approaches, pests and pestilence threaten the wellbeing of people and crops. People will bath with, or decorate their doors with calamus and mugwort leaves to drive evil spirits and diseases away.

 

Medicinal men will harvest and make medicine on this day as they believe herbs collected in this season are the most potent, and will cure all diseases.

 

There is an increase recently with new COVID-19 cases, a second wave may or may not be coming but still we need to take precautions and learn from our ancestors. Diseases and poisonous insects will be germinating, we should disinfect frequently and make use of plants and herbal medicines to cleanse and to heal ourselves.

端午節一些主要習俗,如劃龍舟和吃粽子都是與龍圖騰信仰有關,相傳古代吳越人認為自己是龍的傳人,每年五月初五舉行祭圖騰儀式,以祈求來年大豐收及風調雨順。

 

除了祭祀,端午節還有不少驅除病毒與瘟疫的習俗。由於農曆五月時值仲夏、疫症流行,所以五月在傳統上被認為是「惡月」,而初五就被認為是「惡日」。人們為了預防疫病,自古以來就有各種清潔和驅瘟的措施,例如懸掛或燃燒菖蒲、艾草、蘭草等香草,甚至用於洗澡,稱為「洗百病」或「沐蘭湯」。

 

採藥與製藥也是端午節的源遠流長的傳統習俗,端午前後是草藥莖葉成熟的日子,此時採集的草藥藥性好,功效也特別強,人們相信這天採的藥能醫百病。

 

最近武漢肺炎最近有復燃的跡象,這個傳統驅除瘟疫的節日提醒我們應該承傳古人的智慧,謹慎面對橫行的病毒,做足防疫的措施,而最好還是相信植物的療癒能力,好好地利用各種草藥,由內到外潔淨身體以至居住的環境。