Qu Yuan

Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated in memory of Qu Yuan


Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival falls on 23rd June in 2012. For Duanwu Festival, people in China will enjoy a three-day holiday.

On Dragon Boat Festival every year, dragon boat contest is a poplular festival acitivity attracting thousands of people. Usually it is carried out at port or on the Sanya River, giving great fun to the local people as well as tourists of Sanya. In the sound of firecrackers, numerous spectators would flock to the port or flank the river banks to cheer for their favorable teams. The contestants, for their own honor and the entertainment of the folks, would strive to reach the finish by braving the waves.


Origin of the Festival

The Festival is believed to have originated in ancient China. Today the best known origin of the festival is the suicide of Qu Yuan, a poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period in 278 BC. He is a descendant of the Chu royal family and served as a high-rank official. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry, for which he is now remembered. Twenty-eight years later, Qin conquered the Chu capital. In despair, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on May 5 of Chinese lunar calendar.


It is said that the local people rushed to save him by rowing boat as quickly as possible. This is said to be the origin of dragon boat racing. Then the folks threw food into the river to feed the fish so that they would not destroy Qu Yuan’s body.


SOURCE: sanya.gov.cn


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