The Dragon Boat Festival is known for a number of seasonal traditions that are attached to it. There are the dragon boat races, of course, and there’s also the custom of eating zongzi, or steamed rice balls.
But there are also some Dragon Boat Festival customs that get less press overseas, like the custom of lucky “noontime water”.
According to tradition, the period from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Thursday was a magical time. That’s because Thursday was the Dragon Boat Festival, a time of year when positive, yang energy fills the air. And at noontime on this day, this energy reaches a peak.
Water drawn from wells during these two, brief hours is supposed to be infused with the potent, invisible energy.
Now, wells are a bit hard to come by in today’s Taiwan, but there’s at least one place where this “noontime water” is still drawn up in buckets. It’s a 300-year-old well in Yunlin County that’s only opened up on the Dragon Boat Festival for the purpose of distributing lucky water.
The fact that the well sits just next to the famous Beigang Chaotian Temple is said to make this particular well water even more powerful. The temple’s main deity, the Sea Goddess Mazu, is said to add her blessing on top of the seasonal energy locked within. That explains why the well sees long lines on the one day a year that it’s open.
Those who believe the water is lucky say that when you’re feeling unwell, you can wash with it or use it to make tea. But the well won’t be opened again anytime soon, so just be sure not to use up all the water too quickly!