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  • 00:00:05,660 --> 00:00:06,500 It’s that time of year again!

  • The Lunar Calendar’s fifth day of the fifth month!

  • Yup, its dragon boat festival time!

  • Eating Zongzi, drinking pesticide and best of all, taking a four day weekend!

  • Most people Eastern and Western kind of know the basics of the story,

  • a dude died, people make rice cakes and enjoy a long weekend. But not many people know the true story.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, IntroducingQu Yuan!

  • Qu Yuan was born in approximately 384BC, in the area of China which is now known Hubei.

  • Aside from the fact he was born into an aristocratic family,

  • not much is known about Qui Yuan’s childhood.

  • As an adult he demonstrated he had an excellent memory and excelled in the art of diplomacy.

  • He was so well regarded for highly developed skills

  • that he was appointed Left Minister to King Hui during the incredible complex and convoluted warring states period.

  • As Left Minister it was Qu’s duty to advise the King

  • on domestic affairs and royal orders as well as entertaining guests and ministers from other states.

  • Qu Yuan loved his kingdom

  • and was devastated to discover that government was becoming increasingly corrupted.

  • After the death of King Hui, the new king, Qingxiang

  • appointed his brother to role of prime minister and exiled him to lands the south of Yangtze River.

  • It was during his exile that Qu Yuan began writing poetry.

  • In total Qu wrote twenty-five noteworthy poems

  • which mostly focused on his frustrations and despair with the increasing decline of his beloved kingdom.

  • His sad prose poetry was so well regarded that it defined an entirely new style of Chinese Poetry entitledChuci”.

  • Arguably his poem which is most representative of the style is titledSorrow after Departurewhich goes a little something like this….

  • During his time in exile,

  • Qu grew increasingly depressed at the now burgeoning downfall of his homeland

  • so much so that he could no longer stand the emotional despair and decided to end it all.

  • He completed his magnum opus titled "Lament for Ying"

  • and then picked up a rock and waded into the Miliuo River and committed suicide.

  • From here is where the legend of the Dragon Boat Festival begins

  • When people saw Qu Yuan kill himself

  • they immediately took theirboatsto the river andracedto find his body.

  • People also threw rice into the river to prevent fish from trying to eat him.

  • To fend off the water dragon who apparently lived in the river,

  • an old doctor threw in a bottle of wine to get it drunk.

  • According to the Official Beijing Government website,

  • a dragon like fish floated to the surface with a piece of Qu Yuan’s clothing in its whisker.

  • Yes, the Beijing Government website, talks about Dragons, that’s awesome!

  • What the website doesn't mention though,

  • is that after a few days, Qu come back as a ghost!

  • Because apparently dragons are fine, but ghosts are impossible

  • Anyway some time later, Qu’s ghost appears before his friends.

  • He told them that he died by drowning not by dragon

  • asks them to prepare wrap gluttonous rice up in silk packages as an offering to the water dragon.

  • These rice packages, now traditionally wrapped in bamboo leaves are what we call Zongzi.

  • To commemorate the extreme patriotism and revolutionary poetry styles of Qu Yuan the Day of his death,

  • became what we now know as the Dragon boat Festival.

  • As this is an ancient story, details about how the story went down

  • and even details regarding who the festival is celebrating changes,

  • but Qu Yuan is popularly considered the true precursor.

  • The Festival does not just exist in China,

  • in fact, many countries throughout Asia celebrate the Dragon boat Festival.

  • Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam all join in on the festivities .

  • In China it is traditions directly linked to the legend of Qu Yuan

  • include eating the dragon’s offering, zongzi, drinking the spirit that killed the dragon,

  • regale wine (which actually contains trace amounts of arsenic, it was used as pestircide),

  • seriously do yourself a favour, don’t drink it.

  • And finally in honour of those who searched Qu Yuan race dragon boats in competition.

  • The sport of dragon boat racing has become so popular that it is practised around the world!

  • In China the annual winners of the race are awarded with the prestigious Qu Yuan Cup.

  • This is honestly the thing I love most about Chinese history,

  • there are so many weird stories about strange yet amazing people.

  • A man from 300 BC, wrote genre defining poetry, kills himself, gets a dragon killed,

  • comes back as ghost and it is a nationally recognised and agreed upon festival!

  • Also, luckily for me, since 2008, the Dragon Boat Festival has become an official public holiday, which means I can spend my weekend getting drunk in the bathtub!

  • Also, luckily for me, since 2008, the Dragon Boat Festival has become an official public holiday,

  • So there you have it. Thank you so much for watching another one of my videos,

  • don’t forget to like comment and subscribe!

  • If this is the first video of mine that you have seen, welcome!

  • And be sure to click on the link to check my other history videos,

  • the previous video was on Hong Xiuquan,

  • JesusChinese Brother led the bloodiest event of modern history!

  • Thanks again for watching, I’m WooKong, and goodbye.

00:00:05,660 --> 00:00:06,500 It’s that time of year again!

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Dragon Boat Festival Origins: Qu Yuan | Wookong

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    emma10350 posted on 2017/10/04
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