Dragon raises its head on Wednesday

2010-03-18 08:35 BJT


According to the traditional lunar calendar of China, Wednesday is a special occasion called "Dragon Raises its Head". Let's look at some customs and activities associated with the day.

The second day of the second month in China's lunar calendar is traditionally a festival called "The Day of Central Harmony". But it is popularly known as the day when the dragon raises its head. Coming in the early days of Spring, the day marks the awakening of life, as insects and animals in hibernation come out of months of slumber.

Virtually everybody, old and young, will cut their hair that day. It's believed to bring good luck, health, and wellbeing for the entire year.
Virtually everybody, old and young, will cut their hair that day. It's believed
to bring good luck, health, and wellbeing for the entire year.

And in honor of the powerful, auspicious dragon, Chinese people name their food this day after the imaginary animal. Pancakes are called dragon scales, dumplings are known as dragon ears, and noodles become dragon beards. All these are an essential part of the traditional feast.

As the dragon raises its head, barbers across China have their busiest day of the year. Virtually everybody, old and young, will cut their hair that day. It's believed to bring good luck, health, and wellbeing for the entire year. Even in modern urban areas, these traditions have a strong following.

In rural areas, this same day is called The Day of Ploughing, as farms will usually see a busy period around this time. In the past, farmers would worship the land god and pray for good harvests and safety.

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