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Everything You Need to Know About the Blue Dragon Festival

Today is the second day of the second lunar month — which means to say that it is time yet again for another festival day!

The Blue Dragon Festival, also commonly known as the Longtaitou Festival (龙抬头) or the Eryue’er Festival (二月二), is meant to celebrate the first signs of spring. Generally, this traditional holiday takes place on a date between February 21 and March 21, depending on how the lunar calendar translates. This year, it takes place on March 14, Sunday. 

Commemorating one of the most auspicious animals in Chinese mythology, the Blue Dragon Festival is said to be a time perfect for wishing for good blessings, good weather, and a good harvest. This is because dragons — intelligent creatures that are able to control the skies, the clouds, and the rain — are believed to wake on this day. Longtaitou, the Chinese name of the holiday, references this with its direct translation: “a dragon raises its head.”

Because of its association with good weather, the Blue Dragon Festival is deeply connected to the ancient agrarian culture of China, making it more widely celebrated among farming populations in the countryside. Though this holiday isn’t as regarded in the city or outside of the country, it is still considered an important part of Chinese tradition. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Blue Dragon Festival:


The Legend

According to a folk legend from the past, the Blue Dragon Festival is a custom born out of gratitude to dragons. Long ago, during the Tang dynasty (618-907), the Jade Emperor, who ruled the heavens, was angered by the ascension of Wu Zetian as an empress regnant. Wanting to punish the people, he ordered the Dragon King to cease all rain for three years in order to cause a drought across the land. 

However, the Dragon King felt pity upon the humans and disregarded the order, still providing rain to the earth. Incensed, the Jade Emperor expelled the Dragon King from heaven and had him imprisoned under a large mountain, proclaiming: “The Dragon King violated heaven. Unless golden beans bloom, he cannot be saved.” 

Feeling touched by the Dragon King’s sincerity toward them, the people did their best to find golden beans that could blossom but failed. During the next year, on the second day of the second lunar month, these people were drying corn seeds under the sun. It was then they realized that the corn seeds looked like golden beans. Discovering this, they immediately heated the seeds to make them “bloom,” making popcorn. 

Not soon after, the Dragon King found out about this matter and yelled to the Jade Emperor of the heavens, “The golden beans are in blossom. Let me out!” 

After seeing this, the Jade Emperor had no choice but to release the Dragon King, who once again took up his domain of making wind and rain. Since then, the tradition of celebrating dragons with popcorn or roasted soybeans came to be.



There are many traditions practiced during the Blue Dragon Festival. Here are some of the most important ones to take note of:

  • Get a haircut: Many Chinese people get a haircut during this holiday because they believe it brings them good fortune. Since it is also considered bad luck to cut one’s hair during the first lunar month — so as to not cut away all the fortune received from the new year — the Blue Dragon Festival, being at the beginning of the second lunar month, is definitely a popular time to get a trim.
  • Clean up the home: It is also considered bad luck to clean out one’s home during the Chinese New Year since the act would drive away the good fortune one has welcomed. After not cleaning up for a month, the Blue Dragon Festival is recognized as a great day to do some spring cleaning.
  • Get rid of insects: Because this holiday also marks the awakening of plants and insects during the beginning of spring, it has become a tradition to burn various herbs that would serve as insect repellents at home. Women and children would also wear herb satchels for this purpose. Because of this, over time, the herb satchels were also considered to attract good fortune.
  • Pay respects to the deities: In order to ask for good blessings and a good harvest, those in rural communities may worship not only the dragons but also deities such as Fuxi and Nuwa, the creators of humanity; as well as Tudigong, the god of the soil and the ground.



Aside from popcorn and roasted soybeans, which have become customary snacks to eat due to folk stories, “dragon-themed” dishes are also eaten during the Blue Dragon Festival because of their auspicious nature. Examples include dumplings (dragon’s ears), spring pancakes (dragon’s scales), noodles (dragon’s beard), wontons (dragon’s eyes), fried doughnut twists (dragon’s bone), and many more. 

Other common foods to eat are salted porridge, tofu balls, glutinous rice rolls, and pig’s head. 


Wishing you good tidings for the Blue Dragon Festival!


Interested in other Chinese holidays? Check out our article on the seven Chinese Valentines’ days right here!

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