The Dragon Boat Festival is one of three major Chinese holidays, along with the Spring and Mid-Autumn Festivals. Of the three, it is possibly the oldest, dating back to the Warring States Period in 227 B.C. The festival commemorates Qu Yuan, a minister in the service of the Chu Emperor. Despairing over corruption at court, Qu threw himself into a river. Townspeople jumped into their boats and tried in vain to save him. Then, hoping to distract hungry fish from his body, the people scattered rice on the water.
Over the years, the story of Qu’s demise transformed into the traditions of racing dragon boats and eating zongzi – a kind of rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. The races have certainly captured the imagination of people from all over the world. Every spring there are nearly 60 dragon boat races held outside of China in cities from Vancouver to Sydney, from Gdańsk, Poland to Cape Town, South Africa.[从温哥华到悉尼，从波兰的格但斯克到南非的开普敦] Canada alone has nearly 50 dragon boat teams and Germany has nearly 30.