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Google Doodle celebrates Dragon Boat Festival 2023, details inside

In honour of the Dragon Boat Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday observed on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, Google created a GIF doodle

Dragon Boat Festival

Google Doodle celebrates Dragon Boat Festival 2023. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Sonika Nitin Nimje New Delhi

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To commemorate the traditional Chinese holiday known as the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, Google created a GIF doodle.  That's why it's sometimes called the 'Double Fifth Festival'. The day falls in the month of June-July according to the Gregorian calendar, and this year, the holiday is being observed on June 22. The doodle for today depicts a hand-made cardboard and yarn Dragon Boat replica sailing through an ocean of yarn bowls.

The current era's history begins in the third century BCE. It is observed to remember Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and politician who was well-known for his contributions to classical poetry for his patriotism. 

Dragon Boat Festival 2023: History

Chinese poet Qu Yuan is said to have committed suicide by drowning in the Miluo River during the period of 475-221 BC, after learning that Chu State had been defeated. Legend says that local people surged out in boats wanting to find and save him. To keep fish and evil spirits away from the poet’s corpse, they threw sticky rice dumplings into the water. 

Dragon Boat Festival 2023: Importance

The Chinese nation's cultural heritage is celebrated at the Dragon Boat Festival as it is the spirit of cooperation and unity. Particularly, dragon boat racing emphasises the significance of teamwork, communication, and mutual support among team members.

Dragon Boat Festival 2023: Celebration

People from all over Asia gather to watch teams race toward a finish line in long, multicoloured, canoe-shaped wooden boats usually adorned with dragon heads and tails. There are 12 to 32 people in each boat, including paddlers and drummers who sit at the front of the boat and drum energetically to keep the rowers on time. 

In mainland China and Hong Kong, a public holiday is observed to mark the Dragon Boat Festival. As a result, dragon boat races and eating sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves (zongzi in Mandarin and zong in Cantonese) became important aspects of the Dragon Boat Festival and continue to be so today.

While some experts say that the same practice had been followed even before the death of Qu Yuan; dragon boat races and sticky rice dumplings have turned into the trademarks of festivities for the celebration in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia and elsewhere on the planet. Dragon boat racing has likewise turned into a famous sport with members from the entire world.

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First Published: Jun 22 2023 | 10:42 AM IST

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