On May 5th of lunar calendar, people (mostly Chinese) celebrate one of Chinese's most important holidays - Dragon Boat Festival. Traditionally, people wrap and eat zongzi, a rice ball with meat, egg, and other stuff inside, wrapped with leave and watch dragon boat contests.

It is said that at the end of Zhou dynasty, a patriotic poet named Chiu Yuan wanted to save his country - Zhu (here, the word "country" refers to feudal territory) from being taken by Chin, the strongest country at the time. Despite being loyal to his king, he was set up by his political foes and then lost his king's trust. Finally, he was evicted by his kings (twice). Several years later, Zhu was defeated and taken by Chin. Hearing the fall of Zhu, he was grieved and threw himself into river Miluo on the 5th day of lunar May with a rock tied to his body. People felt sad over his death and started to wrap and throw zongzi into river Miluo with the hope of preventing his body from being ate by fish, and drive boats on the river expecting to find his body. Since then, it became a tradition to eat zongzi and watch dragon boat contests on May 5th of lunar calendar.

In one of Chiu Yuan's most famous poems - Lisao, he expressed his anger over those crafty politicians and his worry about his country and people. When we are eating zongzi and watching dragon boat contests, don't forget the greatest patriotic poet in Chinese history.



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