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What is Dragon Boat Festival?

Jun 04, 2024
The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. There are many different legends about the festival, but the most famous one is about Qu yuan, a patriotic poet of the State of Chu during the Warring States period. 

Qu yuanis said to have been loyal and patriotic his whole life. When he realized the decline of true was beyond recovery, his remorse, knowing he could no longer save it, grew stronger and stronger. 

On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, he threw himself into the river and died for his beloved homeland. Locals leaving adjacent to the river rushed into their boats to search for him. They threw jiaoshu(rice dumplings)and other food into the river to keep fish and turtles from devouring Qu Yuan's body. 

Later, to commemorate this patriotic poet, the customs of holding dragon boat races and throwing jiaoshuinto the river on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month were passed it down, given rise to the name Dragonboat Festival. In September 2009, the Dragonboat Festival became China's first festival to be selected with the world's intangible cultural heritage. 

Most Chinese festivals are related to specific foods, and the Dragon Boat Festival is no exception. But zongziis an indispensable food for the Dragon Boat Festival. In the past, every family would soak glutinous frogs, prepare reed leaves for wrapping, rub the rice around sweet fillings such as juju and bean paste or savory ones like fresh meat or ham, and tie them up into pyramidalshapes. 

Zongzi, which is very popular in China are now mass produced. On the production line, many people choose to buy ready to meet products. 

Wu Fangzhai, one of China's largest Zongzi producers ships out more than 3 million pieces a day during the Dragon Boat Festival. And their annual production of zongzi exceeds 400 million pieces. 

In Qu Yuan's hometown, the Zi gui County of central China's Hubei Province, our grabs Dragon Boat Race is held every year during the Dragon Boat Festival. This folk activity has been passed it down from generation to generation, dating back more than 2,000 years.

Today, China’s dragon boat racing has developed from a local activity into a grand sports event and even became an international sporting event. There are more than 85 countries and regions in the world that holds dragon boat races annually.

The Boston Dragon Boat Festival has been held for 40 years and the Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival has witnessed more than 30 years or races. China’s dragon boats have “rowed” to the world.

After breaking some sweat from a dragon boat race, the next festival calls for romance, the traditional Chinese Valentine’s day, or Qixi. Let us look forward to the arrival of love.

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