The second annual Dragon Boat Festival will be held at California Lutheran University at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
The free Chinese cultural event will feature musicians and dancers from Cal Lutheran and the community. Performers include the Yangsheng Choir, Thousand Oaks Chinese Folk Ensemble, Thousand Oaks Dance Ensemble and In-Harmony Chorus. The event will also feature a display of Chinese artifacts, and guests will receive hand-painted fans as souvenirs.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, has been held annually in China for more than 2,000 years. It commemorates the patriotic poet Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was the top adviser to the King of Chu, but the king dismissed and exiled him when jealous officials slandered him and accused him of treason. During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote many enduring poems showing his love and passion for his country. He drowned himself in a river in 278 BC when he found out that his country was conquered by the state of Qin.
On hearing of Qu Yuan’s death, local people were in great distress. Fishermen searched for his body by sailing their boats down the river, and people threw food, including zongzi and other rice dumplings, into the river to attract fish and stop them from destroying his body.
Qu Yuan died on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. Among the customs practiced on this day are dragon boat racing, eating zongzi and wearing a perfume pouch.
Cal Lutheran’s Department of Languages and Cultures and the Pacific Pearl Music Association are sponsoring the event.
The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus.
For more information, contact Debby Chang at [email protected] or 818-309-7254.