“This one is called Duanwu. It’s related to this actual poet that was in Chinese history. I don’t remember when was his time. I know his name is Qu Yuan. This poet was also like a sort of commander for an army or something. Either way, he is a very very loyal person, he was like very loyal to his country. And then I think one day, the empire believed some like bad people or whatever the empire did, the empire believed that he is about to betray the country. So they jailed him and then he ended up suiciding by jumping into a lake. And then from that time onward, every Duanwu people eat something called Zongzi. It tastes really good. It’s like this thing made of sticky rice and you have like either meat which or you have something that is like beans and is really sweet. And is called sweet Zongzi. It’s usually triangular and it has these bamboo leaves covering it and it has creams. But it tastes really good and if you see it in a market you should buy it. But yeah the point being that people will sometimes put like Zongzi they will throw it into the lake. The idea is that the fish will eat the Zongzi and not Qu Yuan’s body. But yeah it tastes good um something else that people do on this day is that there is usually like Yuan Xiao, its called translated into light festival. It’s all the fun stuff, it’s a kind of carnival thing. And people usually put Dēnglóng in the river. It’s like this light thing. Sometimes it’s like a paper boat with light. I don’t know they put it in the river with their best wishes. Yeah, but that part I haven’t personally experienced it, I’ve just read about it and my friends have gone.”
Context: The informant was born and grew up in China before moving to the United States to attend High School. The informant has not personally experienced Duanwu or Yuan Xiao, but has heard about them through family, friends, and by reading about it. The informant has eaten Zongzi, however not for a particular occasion.
Analysis: Duanwu is also known as the Dragon Boat Festival. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Duanwu serves as a way to celebrate the patriotism of the poet Qu Yuan. Eating culturally specific foods is a way to strengthen people’s national pride. The use of specific food such as Zongzi and the story of Qu Yuan work to create a sense of cultural pride and patriotism