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Nations & Customs
Dragon Boat Festival
 

The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is the Dragon Boat Festival. It is generally believed that this festival originated to honor the memory of the patriotic poet Qu Yuan (c. 340-278 BC), who lived in the State of Chu during the Warring States Period. In despair at not being able to halt the decline of the state and realize his political ideals, he drowned himself in the Miluo River in modern Hunan Province on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month after the Chu capital fell to the State of Qin. Legend has it that after Qu Yuan"s death people living on the banks of the river went out in their boats to try to find the corpse. Every year thereafter, on this day people would row their boats out onto local rivers, throwing sections of bamboo filled with rice into the water as an offering to him. Today, the memory of Qu Yuan lives on, zongzi (pyramid-shaped dumplings made by wrapping glutinous rice in bamboo or reed leaves) remains the traditional food and dragon-boat races are held.

 
   
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