China: Old festival, new name

Known in the West mainly for its colorful dragon boat races, yesterday's Duan Wu (端午) Festival has its origins with Qu Yuan (屈原), a renowned and respected corruption-fighting poet whose political passion, many claim, was equalled only by his homosexuality. As the story goes, his unrequited love for the king, combined with frustration over entrenched graft led Qu to throw himself into the Miluo river.

The locals then jumped into their boats and raced to the spot, throwing leave-wrapped bundles of steamed rice and meat into the river to stop the fish from feasting on his corpse. Today, while dragonboat races take place on the fifth day of the fifth month of every lunar year all over the world, in China the festival—vaguely bearing both anti-corruption and queer identity [zh] implications aside—bears little connection to its traditional roots.

Thus says Sina blogger Zhang Chi (张弛), who argues the festival, like several of its counterparts, should be renamed to reflect its current condition: a chance to eat zongzi, or sticky rice dumplings.

Zongzi: Sticky Rice Dumpling


Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival


A lot of people are opposed to the idea of changing the name of Dragonboat Festival to Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival, as if eating sticky rice dumplings were the only thing still done on this day. For the same reason, they also don't agree to changing the name of Mid-Autumn Festival to Mooncake Festival. If anything, Chinese say again and again, they know how to eat. But as I see it, seeing as there is the Lantern Festival, why can't sticky rice dumplings and mooncakes have their own festival?


Speaking of the Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival, I've recently heard a new term, and it has nothing to do with dumplings, but about Qu Yuan. That he's queer, and once had a dubious relationship with King Chu. Later, Chu got upset, and Qu committed suicide by jumping into a river. And those complaints of his, those demands, including lines from famous poems like ‘the road ahead is distant and long, but nothing will stop me as I go everywhere seeking the sun in my heart,’ all express severe despair.


I'm indifferent to sticky rice dumplings. A few years ago I used to love eating Yonghe soymilk sticky rice dumplings. Inside would be meat and whole chestnuts. Plenty of people share my taste; that's why during Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival I can never get any. If you want to eat some you have to order them beforehand. Now if you were to offer me some to eat, I'd have to think about it, because they really are too big. Eat one and I guarantee you won't want to eat rice again for at least three days. I also don't like the Songs of the South; I think they're too extreme and severe, misleading. Not fun at all. Quite removed from my idea of aesthetic. This is the best sort of commemoration of Qu Yuan. A while back I heard that the relevant departments want the United Nations to declare the Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival—along with other traditional festivals—a part of cultural heritage. I don't know if they're trying to indicate that these festivals are doomed, or if this goes to keep up with the rest of the world. Really, it's because I can't figure out what some people must be thinking that I feel they are capable of even the strangest things.



Today I'm not going to eat sticky rice dumplings
The ones sold at my school are inedible anyway
Seeing as you put it like that, not being a homosexual I'm definitely can't eat any


Green bean cakes are not bad. Here in Wuhan, Cao Xiangtai's green bean cakes are the convention. It's just too bad you say there's no way you'll give them a try. I'd like to send a few; I'm just afraid once you get them they'll go bad.


I love sticky rice dumplings, but I'm not queer. I object to what you say.


Sticky rice dumplings? Queers? Hogwash!


Regarding Qu Yuan's love for Chu, you best read carefully the Chu Ci, and you'll notice Doctor Qu treated the monarch like a damsel in distress, a little different from [the Confucian notion that] the ruler guides his subjects. As for not being able to eat sticky rice dumplings, I ought to quote the Chu Ci: “Fear aging, not I.”


Crazy talk


Ha ha ha, I quite agree. I also like to call it the Sticky Rice Dumplings Festival



You're really sick.
I'll stick with Dragonboat Festival, so senseless.

Not a poet, but running a poetic relay station
Not a lover, but yearning for a good morning, good night
Not a great man, but revering a martyr's tomb
Not a giant, but overlooking a East-running spring river



Are spent by people
Not spent by sticky rice dumplings
Sticky rice dumplings are eaten by people
So they say
Will Spring Festival become Dumpling Festival?
Duan Wu is a solar calendar date
Uses a climate-based solar calendar date
As a festival's name
Many examples like this
Like Mid-Autumn


It could never be called Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival, just like the Koreans want the United Nations to declare the Dragonboat Festival a part of cultural heritage because the Chinese don't pay it much attention.
We often accuse Japanese of tampering with history, but neglect our own history, pay more attention to English heroes. It's like the Chinese people have over thousands of years become accustomed to mediocrity. Chinese are too easily satisfied, too easy to remain oblivious, forget tragedies, forget humiliation. Pity………


Calling it Sticky Rice Dumpling Festival would be more reflective of reality, regardless of whether you or I admit it


Then wouldn't Spring Festival then become Dumpling Festival?


You've lost it,
Eat another sticky rice dumpling!


  • The one can't tolerant

    What’s your problem?
    Taking such a great poet to be a gay?!!


    Who is the author, would you please stop saying those stupid things cuz you don’t even know what is the true history…
    and don’t play to the gallery any more.cuz it sound RIDICULOUS。

  • another one who can't tolerant:

    Qu Yuan compared Chu to a beauty, which didn’t mean that he is a homosexual. On the contrary,it’s a kind of praise.

  • another one who can't tolerant:


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