Dragon Boat Festival is one of the most important Chinese festivals, the other two being Chinese New Year and Autumn Moon Festival. Dragon Boat Festival is also called double 5th festival because it is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th moon of lunar calendar. This year it falls on June 02.
The origin of this festival centers around a scholarly government officer named Qu Yuan. He was an excellent poet and respected officer during the Warring States Period of ancient China. Due to misdeeds of other jealous officers, he was in disfavor of the emperor. Qu Yuan suffered banishment as the victim of court intrigue, so in his sorrow he threw himself into Miluo River. Because of great admiration for Qu Yuan, hearing this news local people rushed into their boats in search for him while throwing rice into waters in order to appease river dragon. Although they were unable to rescue Qu Yuan, their valiant deeds are commemorated today during Dragon Boat Festival.
Zong Zi is a special made food during this festival. Zong Zi is rice dumplings with meat, egg yolk, peanut, and other fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves. This tradition is from those village fishermen scattering rice into the waters in an attempt to appease water dragons from devouring Qu Yuan.
Dragon boat race is a traditional activities on this celebration. Competing teams drive their colorful boats forward to the rhythm of beating drums. These exciting races were inspired by the villagers’ valiant attempt to rescue Qu Yuan from Miluo River.