The lunar May 5th is traditional Dragon Boat Festival. Chen Jin, a folk-custom expert from Huai’an Historic Culture Research Association introduced some customs of Dragon Boat Festival in ancient times.
Mr. Chen said the ancient Qingjiang is a transport hub, some people from everywhere of China brought their customs to here; consequently, customs in all places of China like dragon boat competition, eating rice dumplings, hanging mugwort leaves and calamus, eating duck eggs, putting on sachets, drinking realgar liquor, hanging image of Zhong Kui could also be found in Huai’an. However, there were also some customs with special characteristics of Huai’an, for example, old Qingjiang people did not drink realgar liquor, but dropped it on mouth and bellybutton of children, in order to prevent diseases from children. Girls put on sachets and boys put on duck eggs.
Ancient Qingjiang also witnessed very popular dragon boat competitions. According to local records, during the competitions, the whole city turned out, and banks of Liyun River were aswarm with people. As Qingjiang Brake was a dangerous river route famous in China, so competitions here were very thrilling and fierce.