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Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Daunwu Fest! 端午节快乐!!!

Today is the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, thus it is the Duanwu Festival (端午节), aka. the Dragon Boat Festival (龙船节; pinyin: Lóngchuán Jié). This is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China and associated with a number of East Asian and Southeast Asian societies. The focus of the celebrations includes eating the rice dumpling zongzi (粽子; pinyin: Zòngzi), drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu (雄黃酒; pinyin: Xiónghuángjiǔ), and racing dragon boats.

The origins of the Duanwu Festival is believed to have in ancient China. A number of theories exist about its origins as a number of folk traditions and explanatory myths are connected to its observance. Today the best known of these relates to the suicide in 278 BCE of Qu Yuan (屈原), poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period.The best-known traditional story holds that the festival commemorates the death of poet Qu Yuan (c. 340 BCE – 278 BCE) of the ancient state of Chu, in the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty. A descendant of the Chu royal house, Qu served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance. Qu Yuan was accused of treason.During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry, for which he is now remembered. Twenty-eight years later, Qin conquered the capital of Chu. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It is said that the local people, who admired him, threw lumps of rice into the river to feed the fish so that they would not eat Qu Yuan's body.This is said to be the origin of zongzi. The local people were also said to have paddled out on boats, either to scare the fish away or to retrieve his body. This is said to be the origin of dragon boat racing.

For the countries like China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the Duanwu Fest is the public holiday for them. However, in my country, it is not. For the Chinese who are celebrating the Duanwu Fest, they would have a reunion meal with the family and eating the zongzi.

I have already taken my zongzi, how about you?! Anyway, wish you all to have a Happy Duanwu Festival or 端午节快乐!!!

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