The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is a traditional Chinese folk festival—The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the”Festival of the fifth month”, On that day, people eat zongzi粽子(pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) and hold dragon-boat races.It is said, these activities commemorate the great patriotic poet Qu Yuan 屈原 in ancient China.
Qu Yuan lived in the State of Chu in the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). Among the states of Qi, Chu,Yan, Han,Zhao,Wei and Qin, the State of Qin was the strongest, and it wished to annex the others to become even more powerful. Qu Yuan was a Dafu(adviser), He maintained that Chu’s politics should be reformed and that it should unite with other states to resist Qin. But his stand was opposed by crafty sycophants, who used malicious accusations to persuade the king of Chu not to adopt the ida and to drive Qu Yuan from the capital, Despite being exiled, Qu Yuan was still
concerned about the fate of the state.Later, when he heard the news that Qin had defeated the State of Chu, he was very grieved and felt that he had no power to save his motherland, and drowned himself in the Miluo River. It was the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 278 BC.
When people heard the news, they rowed their boats to try and find his corpse, but failed. In order not to let the fish and shrimps eat the corpse, people threw food into the river to feed them. Thereafter, on each fifth day of the fifth lunar month, people would throw food into the river.And later, people used reed leaves to wrap glutinous rice into pyramid-shaped dumplings(zongzi) for this purpose. Thus the custom of eating zongzi and staging dragon-boat race was formed.