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Vice-Premier on Dragon Culture StudiesChinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen has called for further studies of the country's traditional dragon culture. This year is the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese lunar calendar, and a cultural festival featuring the fabled creature will take place in Dongfang city in south China's island province of Hainan on April 6.
In his message to the upcoming festival, Qian said that it is quite necessary this year to make further studies into the spiritual connotations of traditional dragon culture.
Qian, also member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, noted that dragon culture represents, above all, the unity and synergy inherent in the Chinese nation.
It is widely believed that the fabled dragon is a combination of features from many animals, such as deer, elephant, snake, fish, tiger and hawk.
All the ancient tribes of the Chinese nation took animals as their totems, and eventually the dragon came to be their commonly recognized cultural symbol in the process of national integration, embodying the wishes of all Chinese nationalities, Qian said.
Chinese dragon dances and dragon boat races, which originated from ancient dragon worshipping ceremonies, also demand unity and cooperation of the entire team, Qian said. And no individual can perform dragon dances or take part in boat races.
"The dragon represents the unity and coherence of the Chinese nation," the vice-premier said, noting that the traditional culture of the dragon embodies the truth of the saying that strength comes from unity.
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