Today, Thursday, here in China marks the return of the Dragon Boat Festival across mainland China as the government has granted us all a traditional holiday off. What is Dragon Boat Festival? On the 5th lunar day of the 5th lunar month after the lunar new year Dragon Boat day begins, it is also knows as the double 5 day. The origins are a little convoluted but the most popular is from the warring stats period, 475~221 BC. Qu Yuan was a highly respected administrator to the Emperor Zhou, when Zhou was defeated and overthrown, Qu greatly depressed wrote one last poem and walked into the Milou River to drown. He was very admired by the local so upon his actions they raced out in their long fishing boats and beat drums and the water to scare away the smaller fish so only honorable fish would eat Qu.
Many a heavy sigh I have in my despair,
Grieving that I was born in such an unlucky time.
I yoked a team of jade dragons to a phoenix chariot,
And waited for the wind to come,
to sour up on my journey
In our modern times Qu Yuan is honored on the day of his death, double 5 day with dragon boat races, beating drums, and eatting a Chinese dessert zhong yi (glutoneous rice ball with fillings wrapped in leaves). Have a good day off work and hopefully enjoying a race or two and eatting some zhong yi!