Get your hair cut!

Get your hair cut today.

Why?

Because its 龙 抬 头 。Long Tai Tou Jie.

龙 抬 头 Long Tai Tou Jie?

Yes, the second day of the second lunar month.

And I should get my hair cut?

Yes. It’s Long Tai Tou Jie.

That’s how the conversation went this morning. Well, yesterday morning to be exact. 龙 抬 头 。Long Tai Tou。I actually had no idea what the Dragon’s  Rising Head festival was, nor why the dragon was rising it’s head. Nor why I had to cut my hair, because the dragon was rising its head.

How can one have lived in China for thirteen years and still not heard of an important festival? The answer to that is not everyone celebrates it – ancient festivals with their origins in the farmer’s calendar are dying out – sort of.

Long Tai Tou Jie originated, apparently, in the complex and still very uncannily accurate farmers calendar, where two week blocks are given names related to the specifics of the season. It’s hard to count the number of times I have been told – “it’s going to be warm on the thursday of next week” , or “rains will come next wednesday” only to find the predictions, based on the farmer’s calendar, accurate.

Did I get my hair cut on the day the Dragon Rose it’s Head?

No, but this guy did.

Child has hair shaved in Anhui for Long Tai Tou Jie

Photograph care of China Daily online.