Dragon Boat Festival Dumpling Festival Duan Wu Festival 端午节
On the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, Chinese communities celebrate the Duan Wu Festival 端午节, also known as the Dumpling Festival, Dragon boat Festival.
As it is a Chinese Lunar date, it falls on different days on the Gregorian calendar. This year, it will fall on: 23 June 2012
The festival commemorates Qu Yuan 屈原, a patriotic poet from the Kingdom of Chu 楚国 during the Warring States period 战国时代 who committed suicide upon hearing the fall of Chu’s capital city to the Qin armies 秦军.
He was believed to have drowned himself in the Miluo River 汨罗江on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month in 278 BCE. Civilians around the area row their boats out to try to save him or to recover his body. They beat on drums and gongs to frighten away fishes and sea creature to prevent them from eating his body. When these efforts proved futile, they threw rice dumplings into the river to prevent the sea creatures from attacking his body.
Qu Yuan came to symbolize patriotism and on his death anniversary date, it became a custom to organize Dragon boat races 赛龙舟and to consume dumplings 粽子
In 2009, the Dragon Boat Festival was designated as "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Other Chinese heritages in the list included the Mazu worship and Nanyin.
The following articles explore different aspects of the Dumpling Festival.