Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dragon Boat Festival

May 28 was Dragon Boat Festival day 端午節 and over 120 seniors, both Chinese and non, celebrated at the North Bellevue Community Center.

Participants enjoyed singing, raffle prizes and a rice dumpling 粽子 wrapping contest. Legend has it that after the exiled poet and statesman Qu Yuan 屈原 killed himself by drowning in the Miluo River 汨羅江, the local people, who admired him, threw food into the river to feed the fish so that they (the fish) would not eat his body - hence the origin of rice dumplings.

They also raced out in boats to retrieve the body, beating on drums to scare the fish all the while. This tradition continues on today with our annual dragon boat races.

The seniors all enjoyed this celebration, some commenting that they had not had a chance to celebrate in over 10 years. And now they can share this tradition with their new American friends and neighbors!

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