Today is the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar and it is a public holiday in China celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival. Let us look at the Dragon Boat Festival facts, history and of course food. Also known as the Duan Wu Festival (端午节), Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by Chinese all over the world to commemorate filial piety. Yes, this festival is about being filial to your parents and elders and of course loyal to your country.
Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate filial piety
Legend has it that the Dragon Boat Festival's origin roots back to a patriotic Chinese poet called Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a respected and faithful minister who had brought peace and prosperity in the state served. Unfortunately his good noble deeds had been seen as an obstacle for those were jealous and corrupted. These conniving villains vilified Qu Yuan and the crestfallen statesman drowned himself in a river. He sacrificed himself to prove his innocence and his death was of course not in vain.
Zongzi was thrown into the river to prevent the fishes from eating Qi Yuan's body
Qu Yuan's demise was a saddening blow for the people he served. They loved him so much and they did not want the fishes in the river to devour his corpse. Hence, those who respected and loved him mourned his death by scattering sticky rice dumplings (Zongzi) into the river, hoping that the fishes would feed on the Zongzi (粽子) and leave his body alone. Another legend said that a Dragon in the river was eating the dumplings instead of the fishes. Hence the people decided to organize Dragon Boat Race to scare away the dragon residing in the river so that the fishes could feed on the dumplings again. Of course this just one of the many variations of the legends and origins of Dragon Boat Festival and the synonymous Zongzi.
Dragon Boat Race was started to scare away a Dragon
Every year, during the Dragon Boat Festival Chinese from all across the globe will celebrate by this meaningful day by organizing Dragon Boat racing and eating the iconic Zongzi. Those who prefer to make the sticky rice dumplings on their own will need to wash the leaves, prepare the glutinous rice and add any fillings that they want into it. Last but not least, cook your Zongzi by boiling it over low heat for several hours and voila your dumplings are ready to be served. Now there are so many different ways to make a Zongzi and you can even prepare one without using any leaf.
Zongzi is the must-have food to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival
Hereby I would want to wish everyone Happy Duan Wu Festival and may you enjoy your Zongzi together with your beloved family members especially your parents. Remember to practice filial piety and be obedient to your father and mother. If you had the opportunity, do witness the Adrenalin-pumping Dragon Boat Race or better still, take part in one. So now you know the legend of Dragon Boat Festival & Zongzi.
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