The Origin of Dragon Boat Festival
This year's Dragon Boat Festival is 3 June. It is the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. The Dragon Boat Festival is associated with dragon boats and zongzi. The origin of Dragon Boat Festival comes from the poet and minister Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan is regarded as the foremost poet in Chinese history and was a minister of the ancient state of Chu during the Warring States period of the Zhou dynasty in China.
He was a man who advocated resisting the State of Qin together with other states. However, the emperor did not listen to his advice and eventually expelled him from Chu. He then threw himself into the Miluo River while thinking about his country. When the people of Chu heard about this, they rushed to the river and took out boats to search for Qu Yuan's body. At that time, they also threw zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) into the river to prevent fish, shrimps and crabs from eating the body. The day on which Qu Yuan threw himself into the river was 5 May in the lunar calendar.
This is said to have been the origin of the dragon boat races and zongzi. Other customs include. Other customs include hanging irises and moxa at the entrance, drinking Realgar wine (Chinese alcoholic drink that consists of huangjiu dosed with powdered realgar, a yellow-orange arsenic sulfide mineral), and children wearing an aromatic bag around their necks. The festival is meant to ward off evil spirits, but it is also meant to help people get through the coming heat wave.