Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dragon Boat Festival

The day before yesterday evening, I saw many Chinese people carrying plant stems with them. It reminded me of India. We carry flowers, leaves, stems on the eve of our festivals. I was just wondering why these people are carrying those plant stems way back home ?. And was surprised to see same plants outside our neighbors door ! It was on the eve of Dragon Boat Festival.

Yesterday, Chinese people celebrated Dragon Boat Festival (DBF). It was a National Holiday.

I found it’s interesting that Chinese people also put leaves on their doors on festival like DBF. We put mango, neem leaves on our doors on festivals like Vijayadashami, Gudhipadva. On DBF, Chinese put Acorus (Bach in Hindi and vekhand in Marathi) and Artemisia leaves, (नागदोना in Hindi, ढोरदवना in Marathi) on their doors, windows. These plants have herbal properties which repel insects, flies, fleas, and moths from the house. These leaves have an anti-poison function and can prevent epidemics.

It's fascinating to find similarities between both ancient cultures and how culture has it's roots in nature...

Sharing here a picture which I took yesterday. It’s our neighbor’s door.

This is Zongzi (glutinous rice with date dumplings) wrapped in bamboo leaves. It's a must, popular food on DBF. These pictures are taken in 2008, in Beijing when our Ayi (maid) introduced us to Zongzi.


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