Qu Yuan

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The portrait of Qu Yuan

Qu Yuan (屈原 c. 340-277 BC) was a Chinese poet who lived during the Warring States Period in ancient times. He is famous for his contributions to the poetry collection known as the Chu Ci, or The Poetry of Chu.

Qu Yuan was also a minister in the State of Chu with an important position. As a great poet, he wrote Li Sao (The Lament), the longest poem in ancient China.

However, the Chu king fell under the influence of other corrupt, jealous ministers who slandered Qu Yuan, and banished the most loyal counselor to a place called Xiang. In 278 BC, the State of Chu was conquered by the powerful Qin. Hearing the news, Qu Yuan waded into the Miluo River while holding a huge rock to commit ritual suicide for his country.

Since that time, Chinese memorialize the patriotic poet by enjoying Zongzi on the anniversary of his death. In addition, there also has been a festival called the Duanwu Festival, also called the Dragon Boat Festival.

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