The Dragon Boat Festival for the people in northern Guizhou was to make totem dog with mugwort and hang it on lintels. It would be kept their till the following year, and then added more mugwort to it. It grew bigger every year to over 2 meters long. Both Han and Miao nationalities followed the same custom. If a kid got sick, they would take some mugwort from the dog's tail and boiled it in water as medicine, which would rid of pestilence. Shaanxi, a tiger totem area, people hanged mugwort tiger on the lintel. Nowadays, it has changed to using stuffed "mugwort tiger" made in fabric and stuffed with dried mugwort incense. Stuffed tiger is sewed on children's clothes on the Dragon Boat Day for safeguard. Its lovely puffy shape gained the name of "Ai tiger/' some kids wear a stuffed tiger and a rooster on each shoulder as a local saying goes: "The rooster holds you in the mouth, and the cat (tiger) watches over you." If your China tours just falls onto the Dragon Boat Festival, chances are offered to experience these folk customs.
From eastern Gansu to Central Shaanxi plains, people wear vests with totem frog and tiger symbols as antidotes to the five poisonous (snake, scorpion, lizard, beetle and centipede). Kids carry on their backs stuffed mugwort animals like snake, frog, crab (its eight feet symbolize the sun rays), with "five poisonous" pendants. On the chest are small ornaments of legendary animal figures stuffed with dried mugwort, including the snake, the monkey, the rat, the dragon, the horse, the cow or plant bags of the pumpkin, the garlic, the grape, the peach, and the bean. There are also symbols of perpetual life like the eight diagram lenses, star anise, or broomcorn, pyramid-shaped dumplings, lotus bud fireworks, book casket, fan, etc., a variety collection. Their creative, casual design seemed far better than the embroidery craft works with complicated design and intensive craftsmanship. When your Yangtze River cruises reach to southern area of China, you would see how the people living in southern area of China celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.
In northern Shanxi, the symbol of perpetuity must be pasted in the center of the lintel on the Dragon Boat Day. There are two types, the "Haystack" and the "Silver ingot," pasted above the door in the center of the lintel to keep away the "perverse trend." People also wear on them imitation articles of silver ingot; for children age 3 and younger on the shoulder; and age five or older on the back. Girls put it in their hair braids. What Dragon Boat Festival is to Han people, Torch Festival is to the Miao ethnic groups discovered along your travel to Shangri-la.
Another custom is to eat pyramid-shaped steamed dumplings made with glutinous rice, red been and jujubes wrapped in reed leaves. Imitation of its hexagon shape is one of the most popular ornaments to wear on the occasion. With blue, red, white, yellow and black threads winding around it, it is quite eyes-catching. The colors of the threads stand for spring (blue), summer (red), long summer (white), fall (yellow), and winter (black). These are the colors of grass and trees from sprouting to withering a year round. In the eyes of the Chinese community, red, yellow, blue, white and black five colors are the colors that compose the universe. Many businessmen also like to join the locals to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival along their China business travel.
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