Monday, June 9, 2008

Chinese dragon boat festival

Yesterday many inhabitants of China will have participated in the festivities of the annual Dragon boat festival (Duanwu). This festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month. The origin is rather a tragic one. In Chinese a poet, 'Qu Yuan' in 278 BC, didn't want to lose his pride. In fact he was banished from serving high offices cause he was being accused of opposing the alliance. He was accused of treason and because of this, 28 years later, he committed suicide. He jumped into the Miluo river and drowned. Local people, who admired him, threw food in the water, so the fishes would not eat his body. There is another version which said a dragon ate all the food the people had thrown into the water. Because of this, people began to wrap their food up, which resulted in the famous Zhong zi! The rice packages in lotusleafs.
Every year the death of the poet who died in honour of his country is being memmorated by this dragon boat festival!

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