Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival and the Double Fifth, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China and associated with a number of East Asian and Southeast Asian societies. The festival happens on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunisolar Chinese calendar (hence the name, Double Fifth). Of course, the date varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar.
The focus of the celebrations includes eating rice dumplings, drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats. In 2008, it was recognized as a public holiday in mainland China for the first time since the 1940s.
The sun is considered to be at its strongest around the time of summer solstice (mid-summer in traditional East Asia, but beginning of summer elsewhere) when the daylight in the northern hemisphere is the longest. The sun, like the Chinese dragon, traditionally represents masculine energy, whereas the moon, like the phoenix, traditionally represents feminine energy. The summer solstice is considered the peak annual moment of male energy while the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, represents the peak annual moment of feminine energy. The masculine image of the dragon is thus naturally associated with the festival.