Dragon Boat Festival: Where tradition meets sci-tech

Dragon Boat Festival: Where tradition meets sci-tech
Fecha de publicación: 
11 June 2024
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The Dragon Boat Festival is a vibrant celebration steeped in rich Chinese culture. But beyond the lively festivities lies a fascinating intersection of ancient customs and modern science.

The science behind mugwort-hanging

One of the Dragon Boat Festival's enduring customs is hanging mugwort, a fragrant herb, over doorsteps. While it might seem like superstition, science reveals that mugwort possesses remarkable health benefits.

A woman arranges mugwort for bouquets, east China's Shandong Province, June 8, 2024. /CFP

A woman arranges mugwort for bouquets, east China's Shandong Province, June 8, 2024. /CFP

Studies have shown that mugwort contains volatile compounds that exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it an effective natural air freshener and potential disease deterrent.

The physics behind the standing egg

A popular Dragon Boat Festival amusement is the "standing egg" challenge, where an egg is balanced upright on its end at noon on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

Some believe the sun and moon's equal pull on Earth on this day makes eggs stand easier.



In reality, the pull is way too tiny to affect the egg. With a little practice, you can stand an egg any day.

Despite its seemingly smooth surface, the bottom of an egg is covered in tiny bumps. These bumps act as miniature supports, and the key to standing an egg is to ensure that the yolk's center of gravity, the heaviest part, aligns perfectly between these bumps.

Astronomy and Chinese wisdom

During the Dragon Boat Festival, a special celestial phenomenon occurs in the eastern sky. Seven constellations form the shape of a dragon, winding its way across the heavens. This formation is called the "Flying Dragon in the Sky."

"Flying Dragon in the Sky" captured in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, June 22, 2023. /CFP

The ancient Chinese recorded the phenomenon as early as 50 BC and linked it to seasonal changes and agriculture, showcasing their vast experience in agricultural production and profound understanding of natural laws.

The Dragon Boat Festival serves as a testament to the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation that characterizes Chinese culture. It offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Chinese heritage, where the past seamlessly intertwines with the present.

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