The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is a traditional Chinese folk festival—the Dragon Boat Festival,also known as the “Festival of the Fifth Month”,On that day,people eat Zongzi(Pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) and hold dragon –boat races.It is said,thee activities commemorate the great patriotic poet Qu yuan in ancient China.
Qu Yuan lived in the State of Chu in the Warring States Period(475BC-221 BC).Among the states of Qi.Chu,Yan,Han, Zhao,Wei and Qin,the state Qin was the strongest,and it wished to annex the others to become even more powerful.Qu Yuan was a Dafu.He maintained that Chu’s politics shoulod be reformed and that is should unite with the other states to resist Qin.But his stand was opposed by crafty sycophants,who used malicious accusations to persuade the kind of Chu not to adopt the idea and drive Qu Yuan from the captial.Despite being exiled.Qu Yuan was still concerned about the fate of the state.Later,when he heard the news that Qin had defeated the State of Chu,he was full of grief and felt that he had no power to save his motherland.so he drowned himself in the Mi-Luo River.It was the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 278BC.
When people heard the news,they rowed their boats to try to find his corpse,but failed.In order to keep the fish and shrimps from eating his corpse,people threw food into the rivers to fee them.Thereafter,on each fifth day of the fifth lunar month,people would throw food into the river.Later,people used reed leaves to wrap Zongzi for his purpose.Thus the custom of eating Zongzi and staging the dragon boat race was formed.
Up to the present,the dragon boat race is not only limited to the Dragon Boat Festival,but has also spread to many places around the world,and even becaime the important match.In the rural areas of China,the dragon boat rae has taken root as a physical activity.People say “We would wate one year’ farming rather than lose one year’s dragon boat race.”
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