ragon boat festival, often known as tuen ng festival or duan wu festival, is a traditional chinese festival held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the chinese calendar. it is also known as the double fifth. it has since been celebrated, in various ways, in other parts of east asia as well, most notably korea.
the exact origins of duan wu are unclear, but one traditional view holds that the festival memorializes the chinese poet qu yuan of the warring states period. he committed suicide by drowning himself in a river because he was disgusted by the corruption of the chu government. the local people, knowing him to be a good man, decided to throw food into the river to feed the fishes to prevent them from eating qu's body. they also sat on dragon boats, and tried to scare the fishes away by the thundering sound of drums aboard the boat and the fierce looking dragon-head in the front of the boat.
in the early years of the chinese republic, duan wu was also celebrated as "poets' day", due to qu yuan's status as china's first poet of personal renown.
today, people eat zongzi (the food originally intended to feed the fishes) and race dragon boats in memory of qu's dramatic death.
in the north of china, there lies a 6,700-kilometer-long (4,161-mile-long) ancient wall. now well-known as the great wall of china, it starts at the jiayuguan pass of gansu province in the west and ends at the shanhaiguan pass of hebei province in the east. as one of the eight wonders in the world, the great wall of china has become the symbol of the chinese nation and its culture.
lots of beautiful legends and stories about the great wall took place following along the construction, and since that time these stories have spread around the country. those that happened during construction are abundant, such as meng jiangnu's story and the legend of the jiayuguan pass. meng jiangnu's story is the most famous and widely spread of all the legends about the great wall. the story happened during the qin dynasty (221bc-206bc). it tells of how meng jiangnu's bitter weeping made a section of the great wall collapse. meng jiangnu's husband fan qiliang was caught by federal officials and sent to build the great wall. meng jiangnu heard nothing from him after his departure, so she set out to look for him. unfortunately, by the time she reached the great wall, she discovered that her husband had already died. hearing the bad news, she cried her heart out. her howl caused the collapse of a part of the great wall. this story indicates that the great wall is the production of tens of thousands of chinese commoners.