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SPIRIT OF THE DRAGON

- Excellence, valiancy, decisiveness, optimism and perseverance


A dragon overcomes obstacles until success is his. He enjoys being in command but is not manipulative or sly and refuses to deceive or compromise

The legend

Colourful boats, rhythmic drumming, thousands of supporters, and friendly competition - The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Double Fifth Festival, occurs on the fifth day of the fifth moon
in the Chinese lunar calendar. It is one of the three most important annual Chinese festivals. The other two are the Chinese New Year and the Autumn Moon Festival.

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The Festival commemorates the death of Qu (Sound Chu) Yuan (340-278 BC), famous Chinese scholar-statesman who served the King of Chu during the Warring States period some three centuries before the birth of Christ.

Legend has it that Qu Yuan had protested against a corrupt government and was stripped of his office. He saw the gradual decline of his mother country, the Chu State
, and when he heard that the Chu State was defeated by the strong Qin (Sound Chin) State, he was so anguished that in the year 295 BC, at the age of 37, Qu Yuan clasped a stone to his chest and plunged into the Milo River in China's Hunan Province.

When local fishermen realised Qu Yuan had disappeared into the river, they raced out in their boats to save him, beating drums to scare off the fish, which they thought would eat Chu's body, so that his body could be recovered. They also dropped rice dumplings (Zong-zi) in the water as a sacrifice to his spirit.

2 300 years later, the Chinese still commemorate Qu Yuan through traditions such as dragon boat races, eating zong-zi and other activities.

IN China, Dragons are believed to ward off evil spirits. One often sees dragons decorating ancient monuments and buildings, sometimes playing with a pearl or thunder-ball.
ONE can also see dragons on the garments of ancient Chinese generals. The Emperor alone had nine of them on his brocade.
CHINESE dragons were often red or gold, turquoise or white. The gold dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, the East, the rising sun, the rain as well as the fifth element of the Chinese zodiac.

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