The USP Lautoka Campus celebrated the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat festival on Monday, June 02, 2014, that is celebrated yearly by Chinese communities around the world.
The staff and students had the opportunity to taste zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) which is a traditional feature of this festival. Also customary to the festival is the drinking of realgar wine and racing dragon boats.
There was also an interesting display in the Campus library for students and staff to view including customs on the dragon boat festival.
Legend has it that the festival commemorates the death of the famous Chinese patriot Qu Yuan, who was a poet and also a loyal official of the Chu kingdom during the Spring/Autumn period of 340-278 BC. Qu was banished from the Kingdom and accused of treason when he opposed to the kingdom’s alliance with the increasingly powerful State of Qin. Twenty years later, Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital, which devastated Qu, as a result he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River. The locals who admired Qu, raced out in their boats after him, but he could not be saved nor was his body retrieved. The story had been passed on to others in order to prevent the fish from eating Qu’s body and the Chinese sailed on the dragon boat and dropped balls of sticky rice into the river for the fish to eat. This tradition continues today.
The celebration was organized by the Confucius Institute at USP.