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Happy Dragon Boat Festival!


Dear Richard:

Have a good day..

Have you heard of the “Dragon Boat Festival”?? It comes today. We will have some holiday to celebrate for it. Now I am very pleased to give you an introduction about the Festival.image013

The Dragon Boat Festival occurs on May 5th of the lunar calendar. It is one of the three most important of the annual Chinese festivals.

The story of this colorful festival concerns a famous Chinese scholar-statesman named Chu Yuan. As a loyal minister, Chu Yuan at first enjoyed the full confidence and respect of his sovereign. Eventually, through the intrigues of his rivals, he was discredited. Chu Yuan was never able to regain the emperor’s favor and on May 5th of the lunar calendar in the year 295 B.C. (Before Christ), Chu Yuan clasped a stone to his chest and plunged into the Milo River in the Hunan Province.

Respecting the minister as an upright and honest man, the people who lived in the area jumped into their boats and rushed out in a vain search for him. This unsuccessful rescue attempt is a part of what the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates every year.

Probably the most exciting and interesting aspect of the festival is the racing of the Dragon Boats. These races not only symbolize the people’s attempt to save Chu Yuan, they also demonstrate the Chinese virtues of cooperation and teamwork.

zong-ziAnother activity of the Festival is the making and eating of a kind of dumpling called “Zong zi”(a pyramid-shaped mass of glutinous rice wrapped in leaves, please see the attachment). Although Chu Yuan was gone forever, the people, living along the river, threw cooked rice into the water as a sacrifice to their dead hero. They wrapped rice in bamboo leaves, and stuffed it with ham, beans, bean paste, salted egg yokes…..

Besides, the day of the Dragon Boat Festival is customarily the time when cleaning and sanitation are stressed. Most families hang calamus and artemisia above their doors, both as a decoration and as a preventive against pestilence.

The Dragon Boat Festival is an entertaining and enjoyable event. It gives the observer an opportunity to glimpse a part of the rich Chinese cultural heritage.

I have attached some photos for you and hope you’ll enjoy them…..

Happy Dragon Boat Festival to You!

Nou, jullie ook maar een fijn drakenbootfeest dan he!

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