The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival attracts teams of rowers from around the world. The origin of Dragon Boat racing dates back to the fourth century BC. At that/this time there was a minister called Qu Yuan. Although he was much loved by the people, the King dismissed him from his high position. Some people believed that unfriendly government officials had had a part in this/it.

Unhappy and lonely, he wandered around/through the countryside writing poems about his love of the country and its people. Finally, unable to put up with life any more, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Mi Lo River.

It is said that although local fishermen raced out in their boats, they did not manage to save him. So, to prevent his body from being eaten by fish, they beat the surface of the water with their oars and threw rice in the river.

In Hong Kong today the death of Qu Yuan is celebrated each/every year in the Dragon Boat Festival. The scene of the fishermen racing out to save Qu Yuan is repeated in the form of Dragon Boat races.


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