Fifteenth day of the fifth lunar month
Together with Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival is one of Taiwan's three major annual holidays. Because of its origins and customs, it is closely related to the remembrance of Cyuyuan, a poet who lived during the Warring States Period; that is why, from ancient times, people have also referred to the Dragon Boat Festival as the" Poet's Festival."
At the time of the Dragon Boat Festival, the most common customs are holding dragon boat races and eating glutinous rice dumplings called zongzih. Legend has it that when the poet Cyuyuan jumped to his death into the Miluo River, the local people rowed their boats to and fro in search of him; later, this slowly evolved into the dragon boat races. Today, dragon boat races are a popular activity famous both in Taiwan and abroad; most local areas of the island hold their own races. Each year, there is an international dragon boat race with teams from Taiwan and abroad competing.
The practice of making zongzih came from the people who were to save Cyuyuan from the fate of being eaten by the fish. The people stuffed rice into bamboo sections and threw them into the river to feed the fish; today, the dumplings are wrapped in leaves and eaten by people.
Three of the most widespread activities for the Dragon Boat Festival are eating (and preparing) zongzi, an angular rice ball wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves; drinking realgar wine雄黃酒, and racing dragon boats.
Other common activities include hanging up icons of Zhong Kui鍾馗 (a mythic guardian figure), hanging up mugwort 艾草and calamus菖蒲, taking long walks, and wearing perfumed medicine bags. Other traditional activities including a game of making an egg stand at noon, and writing spells. All of these activities, together with the drinking of realgar wine, are designed to ward off disease or evil.