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Dragon Boat Festival: Zong Zi

The Dragon Boat Festival (or Duan Wu Festival in Chinese) is on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It is a day to remember the great poet Qu Yuan, who was a loyal official in the State of Chu in ancient China and deeply loved by his people.

Qu Yuan drowned himself on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277BC due to being unable to save his country. The local folk did what they could to search for him in the river, meanwhile they dropped dumplings of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves into the river in order to prevent the fishes from eating Qu Yuan's body. Since that time, it has been customary on this day to eat Zong Zi (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) as a memorial to the patriotic poet.

Nowadays, Zong Zi is not only made for the Dragon Boat Festival. It is available at any time of the year, with a wide styles and varieties of dumplings. The main ingredient of Zong Zi is the glutinous rice, and then the bamboo or reed leaves -- the wrapping that makes Zong Zi taste distinct. The usual recipes include dates, sweetened red bean paste, meat, chestnuts, lotus seeds, dates, and yolk of egg. 

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