Qu Yuan

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Dragon Boat Festival)
Missing image
Qy1.jpg
Portrait of Qu Yuan from Ming Dynasty
Qu Yuan's Names
Simplified Chinese:屈原
Traditional Chinese:屈原
Pinyin:Qū Yun
Family name:Qu
Traditional Chinese:
Simplified Chinese:
Given name:Ping
Traditional Chinese:
Simplified Chinese:
Courtesy name (字):Yuan
Traditional Chinese:
Simplified Chinese:
Alias Given name (自名):Zhengze
Traditional Chinese:正則
Simplified Chinese:正则
Alias Courtesy name (别字):Lingjun
Traditional Chinese:霛均
Simplified Chinese:灵均

Qu Yuan (Simplified Chinese: 屈原; Traditional Chinese: 屈原; Pinyin: qū yan) (340 BC - 278 BC) was a Chinese patriotic poet from southern Chu during the Warring States Period. His works are mostly found in an anthology of poetry known as Chu Ci. His death is commemorated on Duan Wu or Tuen Ng Festival (端午节/端午節), commonly known as the Dragon boat Festival.


Contents

Biography

Qu Yuan was a minister in the government of the state of Chu, descended of nobility and a champion of political loyalty and truth eager to maintain the Chu state's sovereignty. Qu Yuan advocated a policy of alliance with the other kingdoms of the period against the hegemonic state of Qin, which threatened to dominate them all. The Chu king, however, fell under the influence of other corrupt, jealous ministers who slandered Qu Yuan, and banished his most loyal counselor. It is said that Qu Yuan returned first to his family's home town. In his exile, he spent much of this time collecting legends and rearranging folk odes while travelling the countryside, producing some of the greatest poetry in Chinese literature while expressing his fervent love for his state and his deepest concern for its future.

According to legend, his anxiety brought him to an increasingly troubled state of health; during his depression, he would often take walks near a certain well, during which he would look upon his reflection in the water and be his own person, thin and gaunt. In the legend, this well became known as the "Face Reflection Well." Today on a hillside in Xiangluping in Hubei province's Zigui, there is a well which is considered to be the original well from the time of Qu Yuan.

In 278 BC, learning of the capture of his country's capital, Ying, by General Bai Qi of the state of Qin, Qu Yuan is said to have written the lengthy poem of lamentation called "Lament for Ying" and later to have waded into the Miluo river in today's Hunan Province holding a great rock in order to commit ritual suicide as a form of protest against the corruption of the era.

Qu Yuan and the Origin of Duanwu Festival

The common people, learning of his suicide, rushed out in their fishing boats to the middle of the river and tried desperatedly to save him. They beat drums and splashed water with their paddles in order to keep the fish and evil spirits from his body, and later on, they scattered rice into the water to prevent him from suffering hunger - alternatively in order to feed the fishes in the river so that they would not eat his body up. However, late one night, the spirit of Qu Yuan appeared before his friends and told them that the rice meant for him was being intercepted by a huge river dragon. He asked his friends to wrap their rice into three-cornered silk packages to ward off the dragon. This has been a traditional food ever since known as zongzi, although they are wrapped in bamboo leaves instead of silk. The act of searching for his body in the boats gradually turns into a tradition of Dragon boat race, which is held every year on the day of his suicide.

Up till today people still eat rice dumplings and participate in dragon boat races to commemorate him on the Duan Wu festival, the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

For more details about the Dragon boats and the races, please see the Dragon boat page.

Reputation

Qu Yuan is generally recognized as the first great Chinese poet with record. He initiated the style of Sao, which is named after his work Li Sao, in which he abandoned the classic four-character verses used in poems of Shi Jing and adopted verses with varying lengths, which gives the poem more rhythm and latitude in expression. Qu Yuan is also regarded as one of the most prominent figures of Romanticism in Chinese literature, and his masterpieces influenced some of the greatest Romanticist poets in Tang Dynasty such as Li Bai and Du Fu.

Other than his literary influence, Qu Yuan is also held as the earliest patriotic poet in China history. His political idealism and unbendable patriotism have served as the model for Chinese intellectuals until today.

Works

Scholars have debated the authenticity of several of Qu Yuan's works since the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE - 9). The most authoritative historical record, Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji) mentions five of Qu Yuan's works:

According to Wang Yi of the Eastern Han dynasty (ca. 25 CE - 220 CE), a total of 25 works can be attributed to Qu Yuan:

Wang Yi chose to attribute Zhao Hun to a poet of the Western Han dynasty, Song Yu; most modern scholars, however, consider Zhao Hun to be Qu Yuan's original work, whereas Yuan You, Pu Ju, and Yu Fu are believed to have been composed by others.da:Qu Yuan de:Qu Yuan fr:Qu Yuan ja:屈原 zh:屈原

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools