Saturday, May 30, 2009

.: Duānwǔ Jié :.

May 28 2009.

Source:: Penang State International Dragon Boat Festival 2008/2009

An abridged version of the origin of 端午節 :: Commonly known as the Dragon Boat Festival [端午节/端午節] or Double Fifth, it falls on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. One of the popular legends relating to its origins in ancient China was the death of the great poet Qu Yuan [屈原]. Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar year.

As he was greatly loved by the local people, it was said that they threw food into the river to feed the fish to avoid Qu Yuan from being consumed. Over time, the locals began to serve dumplings wrapped in leaves that is believed to be the origin on zòngzi
[rice dumplings with fillings wrapped in bamboo leaves].

It was purportedly said that in order to frighten the fishes and evil spirits away or retrieve Qu Yuan's body, the locals began to hold Dragon Boat racings. As a result, during the Duānwǔ Festival, to traditionally commemorate Qu Yuan's death, the people will usually eat
zòngzi and have Dragon Boat races.

Since in that kingdom all my virtue spurn,
Why should I for the royal city yearn?
Wide though the world, no wisdom can be found,
I'll seek the stream where once the sage was drowned.

:: Further information about the festival held in Malaysia ::


Occasionally mum will make zòngzi. I apologize for the unflattering photos, but believe me, do not be deceived by its look. I wolfed down 5 of those little bundles of tasty morsels in a single shot. It was that good. :)

I have attended some Dragon Boat races in the past. Back then, I was more of a cultural experience freak and not into photography hence I have no photos of my own. The total experience was overwhelming and there was just so much noise coming from every direction! The rooting screams, the drumming, cries of tears and laughter --- absolutely astonishing and deafening! It was like some big-shot pop star made his/her stage presence. Anyway, the most breathtaking moment was seeing the paddlers in the middle of the sea, paddling in complete synchronization.

Amazing stuff.
9.27am Malaysian Time
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