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The Brief History of Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is observed on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. On this day, the Chinese people eat rice dumplings and go watch the Dragon boat races.

The Dragon Boat Festival is dedicated to the great poet Qu Yuan (343-290 B.C.). Qu yuan was a minister of the state of Ch’u. He loved his country very much and wanted to make it strong. But the King of Ch’u believed the words of his treacherous advisors and rejected Qu Yuan’s plan for making the country rich and strong. Qu Yuan was so disappointed, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Milo River.

Upon learning of Qu Yuan's suicide, the people rushed to row their boats in search of his body. Accordingly, the Chinese people commemorated this day as the Dragon Boat Festival. Originally the boats had a very simple appearance. However, it was later decided to add dragon decorations to the boats for this occasion.

In memory of Qu Yuan, the people put rice inside of bamboo stalks and threw them into the river as an offering. Later on, to express their admiration and respect for the great Qu Yuan, the Chinese people also designated this day as Poet's Day.

About Kansas City Dragon Boat Festival

In Kansas City, the Dragon Boat Festival carries a new meaning: International cooperation, friendship, and the development of trade for Kansas City, Mexico and China. Our Dragon Boats are gifts from China to The Society for Friendship for Friendship with China of Kansas City, Missouri. They became the first shipment and thereby opening a trade route from Shanghai China to the port of Lazaros Cardenas, Mexico and then by TMF/Kansas City Southern Railway to Kansas City, Missouri.

The Society for Friendship for Friendship with China and the Kansas City-Xi'an Sister City Committee would like to designate this festival as the Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival and celebrate it every year on the second Saturday of June to enhance Kansas City's culture diversity.

Most recent Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival

2022, The 16th Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival was held on Saturday, June 11, 2022

Results of the 2022 races are on the Dragon Boat web page. A link will be provided below once the 2023 Dragon Boat races are scheduled.

Links to past Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festivals




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