5 things to know and do during Dragon Boat Festival
China’s Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu, is just around the corner. Also called Double Fifth Festival, the festival is celebrated on thefifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, which falls on June 20 this year. It is one of the oldest festivals, not only in China but also throughout the world, with a history of more than 2,000 years.
The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a patriot poet during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), whocommitted suicide by flinging himself into the Miluo River in Hunan province after his mother kingdom fell into enemy rule.
Legend holds that people in boats raced to the site where he drowned and threw in zongzi (glutinous rice wrapped in reed leaves) sofish wouldn't feed on Qu's body. Since then, the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar is celebrated as the Dragon Boat Festival. People hold boat races andprepare zongzi in memory of Qu's righteousness and his beautiful poems.
Most Chinese festivals are tied to a particular food, and Dragon Boat Festival is no exception. A very popular dish during Dragon Boat Festival is zongzi. This tasty dish consists of rice dumplings with meat, peanuts, egg yolks orother fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves. The tradition of zongzi is meant to remind us of village fishermen scattering rice across thewater of the Mi Luo River in order to appease the river dragons so that they would not devour Qu Yuan.
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