Dragon Boat Festival

Today is the day to celebrate, Dragon Boat Festival, or the so called DuanWu Festival 端午节. The festival every year occurs on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month based on the traditional Chinese Calendar. which is the source of the festival’s alternative name, the Double Fifth Festival.

The Festival itself commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was one of the most patriotic poets in Chinese history. Because of this, that he loved his country so much, after the Qin Dynasty took over, he drowned himself in the Miluo river.


Every year the event holds a dragon boat race, which is to symbolize the the local people, the admirerers of the poet, as they were racing out in their boats to save him. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi.

That is why every each year the Chinese culture holds and celebrates this national day with these activites: three of the most widespread activities conducted during the Duanwu Festival are eating (and preparing) zongzi, drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats.

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