The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, with a history dating back thousands of years. In China, there are several different stories about this festival, but the best known one in modern China is related to a poet and minister called Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a cadet member of the royal house in Chu State (B.C.1115 - B.C.223), and served in high offices. During that period there were seven states who fought against each other, which is now referred to as the ‘Warring States period’ in Ancient Chinese History. Qu Yuan was a patriot and insisted that Chu State should not ally with the increasing powerful Qin State. However, the king of Chu trusted other aristocrats' slanderous words and chose to banish Qu Yuan from the central government. Many years later, Chu State was conquered by Qin State. Qu Yuan committed suicide in despair drowning himself in the Miluo River.
When the local people heard the news, they rushed onto theirr boats as quickly as they could in an attempt to save Qu Yuan. However, they failed and couldn’t find his body. During that time, people also believed the fish will eat human's body, so the locals made very loud whilst in their boats on the river to scare the fish away. This followed by making lots of sticky rice balls and dropping the balls into the river, so fish would eat the rice balls instead of Qu Yuan's body - this is known as the history and origin of the dragon boat races and Zongzi today.
After thousands of years, the Dragon Boat Festival became one of the most important festivals in China. The traditions of dragon boat racing and making Zongzi still exist, and the story of Qu Yuan will pass from one generation to the others.