Dragon Boat Festival: A celebration of patriotism
Dragon Boat Festival is an important traditional festival in China. It fell on Friday this year and was celebrated across China, embodying the Chinese people's love for their country.
The festival, also called Duanwu Festival, is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
"There are many versions concerning the origin of the festival, and the most influential one is related to Qu Yuan," said Shao Fengli, an associate professor at Liaoning University, adding that it reflects Chinese people's love of the poet, and also the patriotism that remains the backbone of Chinese culture.
Qu Yuan is a well-known poet and served as a minister of the State of Chu during the Warring States Period (475 -221 BC). As a poet, Qu Yuan is known today for his patriotism and contributions to classical verse. Lines such as "The way ahead is long and has no ending, yet high and low I'll search with my will unbending" are still spread widely.
"The spirit of patriotism has been deeply embedded into the blood of all Chinese people and has become an important spiritual symbol of the nation," Shao said.
After Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River, local people rowed out on the river to search for his body, and many boats could be seen on the wide river. Dragon boat races have thus become one of the most important customs of the festival, said Luo Haobo, head of the Qu Yuan memorial hall in Miluo city, central China's Hunan Province.
Gao Hu, head of a dragon boat manufacturing plant in the city, said that there were more than 100 dragon boat orders this year, and he is making a 30-meter-long traditional dragon boat for a customer in east China's Anhui Province, which can be rowed by more than 60 people.
Beijing aims to hold more than 240 online cultural events during this year's Dragon Boat Festival holiday from June 3 to 5.
"Traditional festivals are formed through thousands of years of inheritance. They have rich cultural significance and represent the beliefs of the Chinese people," Shao said.