June 7, 2019 – Dragon Boat Festival – 端午节
Today, June 7 2019, is public holiday in China as the Chinese celebrate the Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival. The Festival is also marked in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
The Festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. The occasion commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar and poet, Qu Yuan. He was a loyal minister in the country of Chu and served the King of Chu during the Warring States Period in the third century BC. Over time, he fell out of favour with his sovereign and was exiled. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote many poems to express his anger and sorrow with his sovereign and people.
When Qu Yuan learned that the country of Qin had defeated his country in battle, tied to a stone, he threw himself into the river and drowned. The people of Chu mourned the death of Qu Yuan by tossing rice dumplings into the river – saying they were to feed fish and seafood but not to disturb Qu Yaun’s body. To this day, rice dumplings are eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival in memory of Qu Yuan.
Toronto is a proud multicultural City that embraces a wide variety of cultures and faiths. Our City flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. It is important to recognize each and every community that plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.
As the Newcomer’s Advocate with the City of Toronto I strongly believe that we must work to together to promote togetherness. We must Respect our newcomer communities. We must Accept our newcomer communities. We should Celebrate our diversity and Embrace our different cultures and traditions, because we are all part of the human RACE.