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Happy Dragon Boat Festival Canada

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Dragon Boat racing over the years has raised millions and millions of dollars for charities

Yesterday was The Dragon Boat Festival in traditional Chinese customs, a festival commemorating the poet Qu Yuan. People in China usually hold activities such as racing dragon boats and eating rice dumplings.

The Dragon Boat Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which this year coincides with the first day of June in the solar calendar.

In 278 BC, Qu Yuan, a great Chinese poet, and statesman, committed suicide by wading into the Miluo River in the Hubei Province while holding a rock. His suicide came after the King’s court was overthrown by his enemies. Yuan had a series of exiles due to corrupt ministers slandering him and influencing King Huai. He later returned home only once again to be banished by Emperor Wen of Han.

He had great ambition and ideals all his life and served the lowest classes for many years. However, the emperor trusted the treacherous officials and did not trust him, so he passed away during the great depression. Qu Yuan wrote many poems, among which Li SAO is the most famous. It occupies a high position in the history of Chinese literature and is the representative work of romantic literature.

After Qu Yuan committed suicide, to protect his body from being eaten by small fish in the river, people threw down many glutinous rice balls wrapped in bamboo tubes, replaced by leaves. The food is called Zongzi, a mixture of red bean paste, dates, and peanuts, making the meat taste sweet and the mushrooms salty. However, the attempt from the locals to recover Yuan’s body by river boats and the sound of drums were unsuccessful.

During the Dragon Boat Festival, children usually wear sachets to ward off evil spirits and to adorn their clothes. The sachet contains cinnabar, realgar, and other traditional Chinese medicine, wrapped with silk, fragrance overflow, and then with different colours of silk string into different shapes. Many Chinese people wear sachets today because of their delicate weaving technique and exquisite appearance.

The Dragon’s boat festival and its formation were a direct correlation to the death of Yuan. The day is seen as a way people can honor and remember a great leader for his contributions to China and humanity.