The Double-Second Festival (or the Spring Dragon Festival) is traditionally named the Dragon Head Festival, which is also called “the Day of Legendary Birth of Flowers”, “the Spring Outing Day”, or “the Vegetables-Picking Day”. It came into existence in the Tang Dynasty (618AD — 907 AD). The poet, Bai Juyi wrote a poem entitled The Second Day of the Second Lunar Month:” The first rain stops, sprout grass and vegetables. In light clothes are young lads, and in lines as they cross the streets.” On this special day, people send gifts to each other, pick vegetable, welcome wealth and go on a spring outing, etc. After the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD — 1644 AD), the custom of spreading ashes to attract a dragon was called “dragon lifting its head”.

Why is it called “dragon lifting its head”? There is a folktale in northern China.

It is said that once the Jade Emperor ordered the four Sea Dragon Kings not to rain on the earth in three years’time. At a time, life for the people was intolerable and the people suffered untold misery and hardship. One of the four Dragon Kings — the jade dragon was sympathetic with the people and secretly dropped a soaking rain on the earth, which was soon discovered by

the Jade Emperor, who banished him to the mortal world and put him under a huge mountain. On it was a tablet, which said the jade dragon would not go back to Heaven unless golden beans blossomed.

People went around telling the news and were thinking of ways to save the dragon. One day, an old woman carried a sack of corn for sale on the street. The sack opened and the golden corn for scattered on the ground. It occurred to people that seeds of corn were the gold beans, which would blossom if they were roasted. Therefore, people coordinated their efforts to roast popcorn and place it in the yards on the second day of the second lunar month. The God Venus had dim eyesight with old age. He was under the impression that golden beans blossomed, so he released the dragon.


From then on there was a custom on the earth that on the second day of the second lunar month, every family would roast popcorn. Some people sang while roasting:”The dragon lifts its head on the second day of the second lunar month. Large barns will be full and small ones will overflow.”

A series of activities are held on this day, including appreciating flowers, growing flowers, going to a spring outing, and attaching red straps to branches. Sacrifices are offered to the Flower God at Flower God Temples in many places. Red straps of paper or cloth are tied to the stems of flowers. The weather that day is seen as the divination of a year’s yield of wheat, flowers and fruits.

Post time: Mar-03-2022