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Dragon Boat Festival
Dumpling Festival
Duan Wu Festival 端午节

zong ziOn 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.

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.

Qu Yuan屈原

Qu Yuan, the main character around which the dumpling festival revolves. 

Read about the historical period that Qu Yuan lived in as well as see photos of his, hometown, temple, and tomb. These structures are being submerged by the three gorges dam 三峡construction. 

Zong Zi (Dumplings) 粽子

The food item that is closely associated with the Dumpling Festival.

Dragon Boat 龙舟

The dragon boat custom that evolved from civilian’s attempt to save Qu Yuan to an international sports event.

 

zongziDragon boat celebration in

dragon boat bintan Bintan Island, Indonesia

 

Reference:

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) website

qu yuan
Qu Yuan 屈原

Zigui 秭归, hometown of Qu Yuan
qu uan
Location of Chu capital Ying 郢
dragon boat
Dragon Boats 龙舟
zongzi in san francisco chinatown
Meat and green bean zongzi in San Francisco Chinatown
cooking zong zi
Cooking Zongzi, Bintan Island, Indonesia

Dumplings 粽子
zong zi

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