Celebrate Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

  • 2016-06-12

Chinese Gragon Boat Festival is also known as Duanwu Festival(端午节), which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month every year. Which a long history of over 2000 years, dating back to the Warring States Period (B.C 403-B.C 221), Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is one of the most three important lunar festivals in China, along with Spring Festival and Mid-autumn Festival.



Dragon Boat Festival can be traced back to 2000 years ago and legends about the festival are many. The most famous one is about commemorating Qu Yuan, a notable official and patriot poet during the Spring and Autumn Periods.

Qu Yuan was an important official during the Spring and Autumn Periods in the Chu State, which was located in today’s Hubei Province in Central China. During his life he strongly advocated recommending talents from all social levels, enriching the country and building up the military forces. However, his advocates were strongly rejected by members of aristocracy as it would destroy their interests. Then Qu Yuan was forced to resign and was banished to the remote area of the country, which was the time when he wrote a lot of famous poems to express his loving for the Chu State.

In B.C 278, the capital of Chu State was captured by the Qin Army. Qu Yuan was so sorrow that he committed suicide into Miluo River after hearing the news on the fifth of the fifth lunar month. Locals were very sad about the death of their respectable poet and state official. Every year on this day folklores would commemorate him spontaneously.

Eating Zongzi

After Qu Yuan committed suicide in Miluo River, fishermen tried hard to find his body but failed. Some locals threw rice rolls, eggs and meat into the river to feed creatures under the river, hoping they wouldn’t eat the body of Qu Yuan. Years later people used leaves to roll the rice rolls and tightened them with colorful threads, which is known as Zongzi (棕子).

Now eating Zongzi has become an indispensable part of Dragon Boat Festival celebration. In southern China almost every household will eat zongzi when the festival comes. People can also buy zongzi in the stores or from street vendors.

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