To celebrate the China dragon totem and commemorate a great poet Quyuan
The dragon boat festival is one of the four China traditional festivals.
It`s history is so long that nobody can figure out which year or even which century it begun. Every May 5th of the lunar year, people will gather together to celebrate the festival by eating Zongzi and rowing dragon boat.
Actually, western dragon and China dragon are quite different, western dragon comes from mythology and it looks like a big lizard with wings which is very evil, while China dragon is from fairy tale and it`s a kind of auspicious animal. In ancient China, there were different tribes, each tribe had it`s own totem, such as eagle, snake, camel, deer, fish, bull, tiger etc. In order to unite all the tribes, people created a very special animal, which had camel`s head, eagle`s claws, deer`s horns, scales of fish and so on. They named it China dragon which meant united, dynamic, multi-culture, freedom, equality, charity, etc. This is our culture, religion faith, core values. In one word, China dragon is our God. We are so proud of that we are the offspring of China dragon !
About hundreds of years later, there were totally several different countries in China, one of them was Chu country. Around BC 340—278, there was a famous poet named Quyuan who lived in Chu country. Quyuan was a great poet and patriot, he had the deepest love, sympathy and concerns to his country and fellow folks. He was ambitious and always tried his best to make Chu country strong. Unfortunately the upper class of Chu authority was so corrupt, fatuous, incompetent that led to a series of battle failures. The country turned to collapse and people suffered from miserable lives. Quyuan was so disappointed and resentful and he jumped into Miluo river (Hunan province) to protest the upper class of Chu authority on dragon boat festival in BC 278. People were shocked and moved by his death, from then on, people not only celebrated the China dragon totem, but also commemorated Quyuan. For more than 2200 years, Quyuan`s spirits had been inspiring Chinese people to love our country generation by generation.