The Story on the 2nd Day of 2nd Lunar Month
A popular fairy tale in the north of China can tell the origin of the day. When Wu Zetian, the empress, in the Tang Dynasty came into power, the Heaven God was so angry that he ordered the dragon kings to stop raining for 3 years. Soon after this, the dragon king who was in charge of the heaven river heard the bitter cries from the folk, saw many people starve to death. He was afraid that there would be no life in no time. Then he went against the Heaven God's order and gave the folk a heavy rain. Because of this, the dragon king was thrown into the folk world by the Heaven God and pressed under a large mountain.
Then the folk hurried to look for gold beans everywhere in order to save him from the pressure. On the 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month the next year, when people were drying the corn seeds in the sun, they thought of the corn seeds as gold beans because when they were roasted, they would pop in blossom like gold beans. So all the families began to pop corn and burn incense and put gold beans on desks. When the dragon king raised his head, he knew the folk were trying to save him, so he shouted to the God, "Gold beans are in blossom, so let me out." After the Heaven God saw all gold beans in blossom in all families, he had to give his order to ask the dragon king to return to the heaven palace and go on with his job of making clouds and rains for the folk. Since then, it has been the folk custom to eat pop corn on the 2nd day of the 2nd lunar month. In fact, after the 2nd lunar month, since there will be more and more rain which marks the end of little-rain winter. This is a clear characteristic of the monsoon climate in North China.