On the Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val

Special Focus - - Contents - Liu Dongli

May the fifth Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val; mug­wort on the door per­fum­ing the house; sticky rice dumplings sprin­kle on the su­gar; mer­rily, dragon boats go into the wa­ter.

The Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val, also called Duanwu Fes­ti­val, is cel­e­brated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lu­nar cal­en­dar. There are many dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the ori­gin of the Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val. Among them, the most well known one is in the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the death of Qu Yuan, an up­right and hon­est states­man in an­cient China.

The Qin army breached the Chu cap­i­tal in 278 BCE. Qu Yuan see­ing his mother­land in­vaded was dev­as­tated. On May 5th, af­ter writ­ing his fi­nal piece, “Em­brac­ing Sand,” he threw him­self, clasp­ing a gi­ant bolder, into the Miluo River and died.

Leg­end has it that af­ter Qu Yuan died the peo­ple of Chu where ex­tremely grief stricken, com­ing one af­ter another to the Miluo River to pay their re­spects, row­ing boats back and forth across the river in hope of re­cov­er­ing his body. In or­der to stop the fish, crabs and cray­fish from eat­ing his corpse peo­ple chucked rice balls, eggs and other food­stuffs into the river.

Hereafter, an­nual dragon boat races, the eat­ing of sticky rice dumplings and other cus­toms, on May fifth of the lu­nar cal­en­dar, came into be­ing to com­mem­o­rate this patriot and poet who is Qu Yuan.

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