Hunting on the Dragon Boat Festival - It Is Hunting Season
The Mongolian people will go for a grand hunt on the Dragon Boat Festival, the scale of which exceeds other hunting days. It is taken as the Hunting Festival of Mongolian ethnic group in some eastern areas.
Legend has it that the Mongolian tribe was attacked by foreign tribes, but they went out for hunting at that time and survived the retaliatory vendetta. That day happened to be 5th, May in lunar calendar. From then on, hunting on 5th, May became a tradition. There is another legend that Genghis Khan was frightened to death in the hunting on that day, so people hunt the animals on 5th, May to pray for the blessing of the king. No matter which one is true, both the legends show the love of Mongolian people to their own tribe. Therefore, this traditional hunting day has been passed down from generation to generation.
Members of the tribe get together and decide the route and range of hunting several days before the hunting starts. A general director called "abinda" is elected, who should be prestigious, just and good at hunting.
There are two kind of hunt: door hunt and surround hunt. In mountainous areas, hunters drive the quarry into a mountain trench, which is door hunt; in plain areas, hunters drive the quarry from four sides to the center because there is not mountain trench. The surrounding circle could be dozens of miles wide.
The hunters light a campfire and have a picnic at noon before hunting again. The hunting comes to a climax at dusk for there are abundant quarries, including mongolian gazelle, wild rabbit, tiger and leopard. There are outstanding heroes in the hunting, which could be the best writing subject for the artists to create legends. Elders will act as matchmaker for the good hunters as recreation. The hunters come back fully loaded until dark.
Summer comes after the Dragon Boat Festival and the production activities increase. Hunting is basically stopped for the animals' breeding season comes as well. The laborious herdsmen ride on the boundless plain everyday and protect their herds with horses and loop bar, waiting for the next hunting day on the Dragon Boat Festival.