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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


JUNE 19, 2007
DUMPLING FESTIVAL for Chinese community...
The Dumpling Festival (or Duan Wu Jie) commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a patriot and the first great poet in Chinese history, who lived during the Warring States period. "Qu Yuan" lived in the Chinese Kingdom of Chu and served the government with integrity as Minister of State. He was disturbed by the corruption and by the court intrigues of many courtiers who resented his talent, popularity and sense of righteousness. One version said that other officials convinced the Emperor that Qu Yuan was corrupt, that his plea for reforms be ignored and had him banished from the Kingdom.



For years, he wandered the countryside composing poems expressing his patriotism and love for the people. Either as an act of despair or an ultimate protest against the corrupt government, Qu Yuan threw himself into the Mei Lo river ( in today's Hunan province ) on the fifth day of the fifth month in the year 278 B.C. Qu Yuan opted to commit suicide rather than lose face and honour by serving a corrupt government. He composed two famous poems known as "Ai Ying" and "Huai Sha" before jumping into the river with a large stone tied to himself. Grief-stricken local fishermen who witnessed Qu Yuan's desperate act, tried to save the patriotic poet. They sailed up and down the river to look for him and desperately thrashed the water with their oars and paddles to scare off the hungry fishes which might eat his body. To commemorate the patriotic man, the fishermen and rural town folks threw cooked rice dumplings wrapped in silk or banana leaves, into the water in order to appease the spirits of the river on his death anniversary. These rice dumplings are called "Tsung Tze" or "Ma Chang".









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posted by Webworm, 4:51 AM

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