Mystic Tribute to Qu Yuan

In the ancient tale, on the fifth day of the fifth month, Qu Yuan chose to end his life by throwing himself into the Mi Luo River. The people of Chu mourned his tragic fate and devised a unique ritual in his honor. They used bamboo tubes filled with rice, casting them into the water as an offering. Centuries later, during the Han Dynasty’s Jianwu era, a scholar named Qu Hu appeared in the Qu region of Changsha. Claiming to be the “Sanlü Grand Master,” he advised the locals, saying, “I heard you are about to make an offering. It is commendable. I have long been stolen by aquatic dragons. Now, if you wish to extend a benevolence, seal the bamboo leaves with Nian leaves and entwine them with colorful threads. These two items are feared by aquatic dragons.” Following his advice, the locals continue the tradition to this day. On the fifth day of the fifth month, they craft zongzi, incorporating Nian leaves and colorful threads—a practice that endures as a testament to their homage.

Original story in 《齊諧記》


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