Duanwu Festival | Ancient Chinese Culture

Duanwu Festival


Duanwu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival, is traditionally celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month on the Chinese lunar calendar. This year’s Duanwu Festival falls on June 16, 2010.

Duanwu Festival has a long history in China. It originated in ancient China for over thousands of years. There are many versions about its origins, but today the most commonly accepted one is to commemorate the life and death of the poet and patriot Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan (340 BC – 278 BC) was a loyal minister in the ancient state of Chu. He wrote a great many of poems in his life, which are passed from generation to generation.

However, in 278BC, learning of the capture of his country’s capital, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River. That day was the fifth day of the fifth month of Chinese lunar year.

During this festival, to commemorate Qu Yuan, people usually do two things – Eating Zongzi and having dragon boat races.

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