Mosaic of blue dragon in clouds and above water

Blue Dragon Festival: Rain, Haircuts, and Scallion Pancakes

The Dragon Boat Festival isn’t the only Chinese holiday that celebrates the mighty mythical creature.

What it is

The Longtaitou or Blue Dragon Festival takes place on the second day of the second lunar month (Feb. 24 for 2020) and originated as a way for farmers to pay homage to the blue dragon, a symbol of spring and bringer of favorable rain.

Longtaitou translates literally as “dragon raises its head,” implying the deity is waking up, like the flora and fauna rousing from their winter slumber into spring.

How to celebrate

If you need a break from the raucous activities of the Lunar New Year,  Longtaitou is the perfect mini fete for you.

Clean. Starting on Lunar New Year Day, it’s considered bad luck to clean the house: you might be sweeping away good luck along with those dust bunnies. But on the Blue Dragon Festival, feel free to get everything spick and span.

Cut your hair. The Chinese word for “hair,” fa, is the same as in fa cai, meaning “to become wealthy.” So washing or cutting your hair is a big no-no on Lunar New Year Day, as is handling scissors: God forbid you should have a scissor accident on New Year's Day. That might dictate the rest of the year. But now on Longtaitou, you can finally get that trim.

Eat a “dragon.” What better way to laud a dragon than by feasting on it? Of course we mean that symbolically. Pan-fried scallion pancakes, or cong you bing, are said to resemble dragon’s scales while dumplings symbolize the ears and noodles, the beard. We’re not sure we see it, but if it means chowing on yummy eats, we’ll believe almost anything.

Want more?

Check out our whole suite of posts on Chinese holidays as well as our brief histories of some quintessential Chinese foods. You can also shop for all things dragon.

[Photo: "Blue Dragon" by Tony Hisgett via Flickr, CC BY 2.0]

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