It is said that the dragon boat festival started more than 2,000 years ago on the banks of rivers that gushed through the valleys of southern China. The festival was celebrated to ensure soil fertility and healthy, abundant crops. The most acclaimed deities of Chinese culture, the dragons were worshiped in order to avert misfortune and cause good rainfall. The dragons in Asia have traditionally been a symbol of water. They are said to rule the rivers and seas and dominate the clouds and rains. The dragon boat festival has another great epic.During the fourth century B.C. in China there lived a great patriot and poet, ‘Qu Yuan’. He was the king’s most loyal counselor who was banished by the king under the influence of corrupt ministers. While wandering the countryside, Qu Yuan composed some of China’s greatest patriotic poetry. His concern for his country and its future was very prominent in his poems. People on the countryside deeply respected him. When Qu Yuan came to know about the kingdom’s defeat at the hands of enemies he drowned himself in Mi Lo River. The villagers rushed into the river in their fishing boats to save him. They beat the drums and splashed their oars in the water, to keep the fish and water dragons from harming Qu Yuan. Some threw rice in the water to distract the fish.
Over the centuries, village fishing boats went out each year on the same day in a symbolic search for Qu Yuan which evolved into Dragon Boat Racing’s present form. The modern day Dragon Boat Race is a lively festival where people offer rice delicacies to the deities and prepare excusive cuisine for family gatherings. The main attraction of the event is the dragon boat races which convey the highly competitive spirits of the people. The festival is not just a great celebration for the locals but is a main tourist attraction.
It is also an opportunity to honor great ancestors like Qu Yuan. The team Journey To The Jungle wishes you all a Happy Dragon Day!