Dragon Boat Festival, called "Duanwu Jie" in Chinese, has been celebrated in China for more than 2,000 years and is notable for its educational influence. People celebrate the festival by eating rice dumplings zongzi, drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu, and racing dragon boats.
A number of folklores and legends are connected to its observance, but the best known relates to the suicide in 278 BCE of Qu Yuan, poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period.
Qu Yuan was born around 339 B.C. Around 322 B.C. at the age of 17, Qu Yuan left his hometown and came to Ying, the capital of the Kingdom of Chu, seeking opportunities to fulfill his ambitions. He gained deep appreciation from the king of Chu, and became aÂ Left Councilor, this was an important post.
His capabilities incurred the jealousy of the court and hatred from the aristocracy of Chu, who indulged in luxurious and extravagant life neglecting state affairs. Near 313 B.C., the King believing the credulous lies and slanders from the aristocrats, expelled Qu Yuan from Capital Ying, and banished him to the lands north of Hanjiang River.
In 277 B.C., the Kingdom of Qin captured Ying, the capital city of the Chu Kingdom. Qu Yuan, who was exiled to Miluo River area, could no longer bear the downfall of his State. He plunged into Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar. As Qu Yuan passed away on that day, it became a festival to commemorate him from then on. See more details at Traditional Chinese festival series: Dragon Boat Festival.
The book comes with Chinese characters and the Pinyin (phonetic transcriptions), making it an excellent means of learning elementary Chinese.