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UNESCO ponders dragon boat application

UNESCO is considering making China's Dragon Boat Festival an intangible cultural heritage, Wuhan-based Changjiang Daily reported today.

On behalf of China Hubei Province submitted an application for the dragon boat festival, or Duanwu, to the United Nations last October. The application involved four sections: the Duanwu customs at Zigui County, the dragon boat competition at Huangshi City (both in Hubei Province); the Duanwu customs along the Miluo River in Hunan Province and Duanwu customs in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

The Duanwu customs at these three provinces were first listed as intangible cultural heritages in China in 2006.

Duanwu customs in China date back more than 2,500 years, and include the worship of Qu Yuan, a great patriotic poet in Warring States Period (476-221 BC), eating Zongzi, dragon boat competitions, and hanging calamus as an insect repellent.

China applied for a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage listing last year when the Dragon Boat festival became a national holiday for the first time. It has recently received confirmation that UNESCO is working on its application.

South Korea got UNESCO's approval for "Jiang Ling Duan Wu Memorial Rites" in 2005. Tug-of-war games, wrestling and swinging are part of the Duanwu customs in South Korea, which has been celebrating the festival for more than 1,500 years.


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