Dumpling Festival 2010!
The Dumpling Festival is a colorful festival which is traditionally celebrated during the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, the famous Dumpling festival is celebrated on 16th of June which is today. Dumpling Festival is also named as Duanwu Festival and Dragon Boats Festival. You can find the brief history of dumpling festival here that gives a bit of background information of this festival.
Duanwu commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan. He was a loyal minister serving the King of Chu during the Warring States Period in the third century BC. Initially his sovereign favored Qu Yuan, but over time, his wisdom and erudite ways antagonized other court officials. As a result Qu Yuan was accused of trumped-up charges of conspiracy and ejected by his sovereign. During his exile, Qu Yuan composed many poems to express his anger and sorrow towards his sovereign and people.
In the year 278 B.C., at the age of 37, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Milo River. He clasped a heavy stone to his chest and leaped into the water. Knowing that Qu Yuan was a righteous man, the people of Chu rushed to the river to try to save him. The people desperately searched the waters in their boats looking for Qu Yuan but were unsuccessful in their attempt to rescue him. Every year the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate this attempt at rescuing Qu Yuan.
When it was known that Qu Yuan had been lost forever, the local people began the tradition of throwing sacrificial cooked rice into the river for their lost hero. However, a local fisherman had a dream that Qu Yuan did not get any of the cooked rice that was thrown into the river in his honour. Instead the fish in the river were eating the rice. Thus, the locals decided to make zongzi to sink into the river in the hopes that it would reach Qu Yuan’s body. The following year, the tradition of wrapping the rice in bamboo leaves to make zongzi began.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duanwu_Festival
Boat races are held every year and rice is thrown into water on this day in order to give a compliment to the patriot which symbolizes the struggle made to rescue Qu Yuan. Since years, Dumpling festival is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in China. Dumpling festival is marked by consumption of thousands of dumplings and furious races of dragon shaped colorful boats on the loud beats of drums.
In Singapore, during this festival everyone is lazy or the skill has not been really passed on to the later generations. The older generation gets too old to prepare this dish, the working generation is too caught up with work to bother.