The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival just was over. Do you know how it came about? Let us (TOPPLA
) tell you today.
The famous Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, which is also known as Tuen Ng, falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, who is a Chinese poet and minister known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry and who eventually became a national hero.
Qu Yuan lived at the time of China's first feudal dynasties and supported the decision to fight against the powerful state. His actions led to his exile, but he wrote in order to show his love for the country. There is a saying that Qu Yuan felt such remorse after the capture in his country's capital. Finishing his final poem, he then waded into the Mi Lo River in today's Hunan province as a form of protest and despair at the corruption which surrounded him.
On hearing news of this tragic attempt, villagers took boats and carried dumplings to the middle of the river to try and save Qu Yuan. However, their efforts were in vain. They turned to beating drums, splashing water with their paddles and throwing the rice dumplings into the water – serving as both an offering to Qu Yuan's spirit, and a means to keep the fish and evil spirits away from his body. The rice dumplings became the zongzi we know today, while the search for Qu Yuan's body became an intense dragon boat race.