Huai'an China Culture Folk Customs
Solarizing Dragon Clothes on June 6th
June 6th of the lunar calendar is one of the folk festivals of China. As long as it is fine, many families in Huai’an city would solarize their clothes on this day, to get rid of stale, and prepare for keeping in the summer; this behavior is called "solarizing dragon clothes" by local people.
According to the legend, Jellyfish Goddess, daughter-in-law of the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea was very capricious since she was a child. After being married to the family of the Dragon King, the cowardly small Dragon King was afraid of his wife, and acted obediently. Later, Jellyfish Goddess colluded with Shrimp General and killed Crab Marshal, who was a meritorious man; as a result, the old Dragon King got very angry and demoted her to Hongze Lake for self-reflection. However, the arrogant Jellyfish Goddess became snippier and beat a maid-in-waiting one day. The local land god of Sizhou happened to pass by, and blamed Jellyfish Goddess. The goddess became angrier and killed the maid-in-waiting. At this point, dark clouds scudded across the sky and a rainstorm occurred. The rain lasted for 49 days, and caused a serious flood, which submerged Sizhou city.
The Jade Emperor was very angry at Jellyfish Goddess, and sent Chang Kuo-lao to arrest her on June 6th. During the fight with Chang Kuo-lao, Jellyfish Goddess bore a baby called the Little White Dragon, and then she was defeated and put into prison. But the Jade Emperor allows the son and mother to meet on June 6th, birthday of the Little White Dragon. And every time the Little White Dragon met with his mother, he washed his mother’s clothes and solarized them.
The filial behavior later spread to man’s world, and became a model of each family. The custom of "solarizing dragon clothes" on June 6th lasted till today. Besides, people also cook flour to eat, praying to the God for blessing propitious winds and rains.