Dumpling Festival or Duan Wu Jie is a widely celebrated festival among the Chinese community around the world. It is to remember and pay respect to the patriotic poet, Qu Yuan. One of a number of versions of The Dumpling Festival story goes like this:
In the Kingdom of Chu in ancient China, Qu Yuan was an important minister. He loved his country greatly and is well known for his loyalty towards the emperor of Chu. However, the emperor of Chu had not taken Qu Yuan’s advice seriously and made Quan Yuan an exile of the Kingdom of Chu. The emperor of Chu eventually got himself trapped and captured in a foreign land by his enemies, which eventually led to his death. Sad and angry at the corrupted, dying Kingdom, Qu Yuan threw himself into the River of Mi Luo. The people then made rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and threw them into the river. They believed this would stop the fish from feeding on Qu Yuan’s body . Some would even row down stream in a boat, beating drums and shouting out loud in hope to scare the fish away (it was believed that it is how the Dragon Boat event is related to the festival)
Since then, the Duan Wu Festival is set on the 5th day of the 5th month annually to remember the incident. Although there were many versions of legends and stories that indicate Duan Wu existed way before Qu Yuan’s death, the tradition still carries on.
Whatever the belief, thankfully our generation of beach goers believe in having fun instead of chucking dumplings into the sea! This isn’t to say that they’ve forgotten about the tradition. Far from that in fact when it came to carrying out tradition year after year, die hard politically correct beach goers worked up an appetite to chuck their friends into the sea instead! They know not to waste delicious dumplings or be completely inconsiderate and pollute the water.