Monday, 2 June 2014
TODAY IS THE DUMPLING FESTIVAL
The Chinese celebrate Duan Wu Jie 端午节, (double five festival). It is also known as the Dumpling Festival or Dragon Boat Festival.
So why is it celebrated?
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 creatures 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