Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Dumpling Day Everyone - All about Dumpling Festival

Legend has it that the Dumpling festival commemorates the death of famous Chinese poet, Qu Yuan (c. 340 - 278 BC) who threw himself into the Milou River out of depression and worry for the future of his homeland.

Villagers carried their dumplings and boats to the middle of the river and desperately tried to save him, but were unsuccessful. In order to keep fish and evil spirits away from his body, they beat drums and splashed the water with their paddles. They threw rice into the water as a food offering to Qu Yuan and to distract the fish away from his body. However, late one night, the spirit of Qu Yuan appeared before his friends and told them that he died because of a river dragon. He asked his friends to wrap their rice into three-cornered silk packages to ward off the dragon. These packages became a traditional food known as zòngzi, although the lumps of rice are now wrapped in reed leaves instead of silk. The act of racing to search for his body in boats gradually became the cultural tradition of which is held on the anniversary of his death every year.

All about Dumpling Festival

This festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar on which the Chinese calendar is based. This is the source of the alternative name of Double Fifth.[3] In 2011 this falls on June 6. The focus of the celebrations includes eating the rice dumpling zongzi (Chinese: 粽子; pinyin: Zòngzi), drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu (Chinese: 雄黃酒; pinyin: Xiónghuángjiǔ), and racing dragon boats.

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