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After a play date on our way to the bus stop, I passed this lady making fresh zongzi or sticky rice dumplings.

Putting dates inside.

Packing the rice down.

Tying them together.

Zongzi reminds me that Dragon Boat Festival is near.

Why zongzi?

Duan Wu Jie (端午节) or Dragon Boat Festival is one of China’s oldest festivals dating back 2300 years.  Qu Yuan was a patriotic poet (340 BC-278 BC or 343-290 B.C.) who threw himself in the Mi Luo river in Hunan. Legend has it that people went out in boats and threw sticky rice cakes wrapped in leaves into the river in order to keep fish and evil spirits away from his body.

Qu Yuan was born in the Xiling Gorge area and spent quite a bit of time in nearby Zigui.

To see the new building designated as Qu Yuan’s house go here.

To see Dragon Boat races in Zigui go here.

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