Renowned Poet & Minister of State
The Dragon Boat Festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, where people practice customs to dispel disease and invoke health. It was also held in memory of Qu Yuan’s death (c. 340-278 BC), a poet and minister of the Chu state during the Zhou Dynasty. Qu Yuan was banished by the king for treason when he opposed the king’s decision to form an alliance with the Qin state. As a result of his banishment, he had plenty of time to write poetry, gaining support from the locals.
Origin of Dragon Boat Races
Sadly, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River when he found out that the capital of Chu, his home state, was captured by the Qin. It’s believed his supporters raced out in their boats to attempt to save him or at least salvage his body. This event is the origin story behind dragon boat races.
Sticky Rice Dumplings
Since Qu Yuan’s body wasn't found, the locals left sticky rice balls in the river to prevent the fish from eating his body. It’s now a tradition to eat zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival in memory of Qu Yuan, China’s first patriotic poet during the Second World War, a great example of social idealism and unbending patriotism.
How True NOSH is Celebrating Dragon Boat Festival
This year, the festival takes place on Monday, June 14th, on the Gregorian calendar.
Join Renee and celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in a virtual cooking class on Saturday, June 12, and learn to make VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE sticky rice dumplings!
If you order 8 sticky rice dumplings, you can take the virtual cooking class for FREE!
Order pre-made sticky rice dumplings here: https://bit.ly/33u1Dxf
Don’t want that many dumplings? Sign up for the class here: https://bit.ly/3vVQu4u
Written by: Patricia Angeles
Edited by: Ev Wong