The Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu Festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the Chinese calendar. For thousands of years, people have celebrated it in honor of the patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340 BC – 278 BC).
Qu was a minister of the State of Chu situated in present-day Hunan and Hubei provinces, during the Warring States Period (475-221BC). He was upright, loyal and highly esteemed for his wise counsel that brought peace and prosperity to the state. After realizing that the country was now in the hands of evil and corrupt officials, Qu took his life, jumping into the river.
The local people, respecting him so much that they decided to throw food into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan’s body. They also sat on long, narrow paddle boats called dragon boats, and tried to scare the fish away by the thundering sound of drums aboard the boat and carved dragon head on the boat’s prow. That’s how the Zongzi and Dragon Boat Race come into fruition.
During the Duanwu Festival, a glutinous rice pudding called zong zi is eaten to symbolize the rice offerings to Qu. Ingredients such as beans, lotus seeds, chestnuts, pork fat and the golden yolk of a salted duck egg are often added to the glutinous rice.
The dragon-boat races symbolize the many attempts to rescue and recover Qu’s body. A typical dragon boat ranges from 50-100 feet in length, with a beam length of about 5.5 feet, accommodating two paddlers seated side by side.
This year, the Dragon Boat Festival will fall on May 28th. WL would like to invite you join the WL Dragon Boat Festival Event to celebrate this special holiday.
Be sure you don’t miss out!