The Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, has the longest celebration history in China. There are different theories of the Chinese origin of the festival. The most popular one is that it was to commemorate the legend of the great patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340-278BC) in ancient China. In memory of Qu Yuan, who died on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, Chinese people eat Zongzi and race dragon boats on this day. Zongzi is made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. The fresh smell of the bamboo leaves and the sound of hard beating drums in the racing dragon boats remind the story of Qu Yuan, who fought against corruption and whose idea and poets have profound influences in Chinese culture history. After people heard of his drowning in Miluo River, they raced in their boats to search for his body and threw bamboo leaves filled with rice into the river in hope to salvage his body. The custom of eating Zongzi and racing dragon boats became part of the festival.