Dragon Raises its head

The Lunar New Year period is officially over. Today, the second day of the second month on the Chinese lunar calendar ( really a solar-lunar calendar, but let’s not get too technical). 二月二  er yue er – is the date of the Long Tai Tou 龙抬头  Festival。

Traditionally this was the day that farming and fishing work began for the year, believed to be that the Dragon King woke from his long winter sleep, lifted up his head, and brought rain to fishers and farming folk.

Fried beans are a popular food on Dragon Raises its Head Festival.They are said to resemble dragon seeds. Photo courtesy of chinadaily.cn

As the dragon’s raising his head, it’s good to eat dragon-type food, like pig’s feet and shrimp. Special dishes even have the word “dragon” added to their names, to make them auspicious. Noodles become dragon’s beards, dumplings become dragon’s ears, spring rolls are dragon’s scales and popcorn becomes dragon seeds!

Getting a haircut to ride the dragon’s luck this year! Photo courtesy of chinadaily.cn

It’s considered lucky to get your haircut on this date, so you can ride on the dragon’s luck in the coming year. If you haven’t already had your hair cut, today, quick, there is still time! It’s one of the busiest days for hairdressers in China!

The Dragon Raises its Head festival is also sometimes called the Blue Dragon Festival, and dates from the Tang and Song dynasties. Oddly enough, a few years back a real blue dragon landed in Australia. Maybe it swam over from the South China Sea.

This Blue Dragon ( related to jellyfish) can fit in the palm of your hand!
Image courtesy of shandongdaily.com

Here, people in the Shandong city of Weifang ( famous as the home of kites) come to pay their respects to the Dragon King on Longtaitou.