Dragon Boat

Main Piece: “Once upon a time, there was once a poet called Qu Yuan who lived in China. When the kingdom was about to be attacked, the king asked Qu for his advice. Qu gave some pretty honest, so the King didn’t like him and then banished him. When the poet returned, he found that the warring state had taken over his state. He drowned himself in the river on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar year because he was so depressed.The people who lived in the area there tried to stop the fishes from devouring his body by throwing rice into the river. Then they started sailing their boats to search for Qu.”

Background Information: The informant learned this story from his parents who were born and raised in Hong Kong, China. The informant describes this story as being a part of many Chinese festival’s, in particular the boat festival. The informant says that looking for Qu is marked by the Dragon Boat Festival a great Chinese festival, like the Chinese New Year.

Context: In a coffee shop in Los Angeles

Thoughts: After doing some research on a dragon boat, it is a slender, long wooden boat shaped like a dragon; with a dragon’s head in front and tail at the back. Also, teams cross the river in a race with dragon boats. It is interesting that these boats still have cultural significance despite its original use of finding Qu’s body. Even people throw parcels of sticky rice into the river and bang drums in commemoration of the hero poet during the Dragon Boat Festival.