June 18 is the Dragon Boat Festival this year.
The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the conventional festivals in China and has been celebrated for thousands of years. But what lies behind the festival’s long history?
A legend has said that Dragon Boat Festival is for in memory of Qu Yuan, the greatest poet in ancient China. Qu Yuan’s life is documented in Shiji(史记), or Records of the Grand Historian, which was written from 109 to 91 BC. A highly intellectual and respected royal servant, Qu was a loyal confidante of the king. However, he was continually slandered by politicians hoping to blacken his name in the court and ultimately he was exiled by the king. Without Qu’s guidance however the state was soon invaded by a neighboring dynasty. Upon hearing this news, Qu Yuan threw himself into the Miluo River.
How to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival
Graphics by Xiaowen