Painting of a dragon boat

This is a painting of a dragon boat being rowed by a Chinese crew.Dragon boat races are part of the festive activities associated with Duan Wu Jie (端午节), commonly known as the Dragon Boat Festival, Fifth Month Festival or Dumpling Festival. It is a Southern Chinese festival celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month around the time of the Summer Solstice. Initially, the festival was used to revere the River Dragon of Chinese mythology but it gradually evolved to become an event that commemorated the death of Qu Yuan, an official of the kingdom of Chu during the Warring States period (475 to 221 BCE). According to folklore, Qu was banished from court for speaking out against corrupt officials and eventually committed suicide by jumping into the Mi Lo River. One version of the story claims that the practice of eating ‘zongzi’ (粽子), the pyramid-shaped glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo, during the festival began when fishermen threw such dumplings into the river to prevent fishes from eating Qu’s body. Similarly, the dragon boat races held during the festival sought to recreate the unsuccessful attempts made by the fishermen to recover Qu’s body from the river.