China nominates Duanwu for UNESCO list | Shanghai Daily

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China nominates Duanwu for UNESCO list

CHINA has submitted an application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to nominate the Dragon Boat Festival as an intangible cultural heritage.

The application was submitted to the UNESCO by central China's Hubei province on behalf of nation, upon approval by the Ministry of Culture and the national intangible cultural heritage protection center, said Hubei officials in Wuhan yesterday.

The application work began in last September and the application was handed to the UNESCO in December, said Jiang Qing, director of Hubei provincial center for protection of intangible cultural heritage.

UNESCO's evaluation process had started, Jiang said.

The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu, falls on May 5 of Chinese lunar calendar. This year's Duanwu festival falls on Thursday.

People eat zongzi or rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and race dragon boats on the Duanwu festival.

It is generally believed that the Dragon Boat Festival is marked to remember to Qu Yuan, one of the greatest ancient Chinese poets who drowned himself in the Miluo river to protest the corrupt court.

Legend has that people throw zongzi into the river to feed Qu Yuan's spirit. Others say that they are meant to keep fish from feeding on Qu's body.

China's application to the UNESCO include four parts: the Duanwu customs in Qu Yuan's hometown in Zigui county of Hubei Province, boat race of Huangshi city in Hubei, Duanwu customs on the banks of Miluo river in Hunan province, and Duanwu customs in Suzhou city of Jiangsu Province.

The application is jointly sponsored by the above-mentioned three provinces.

The Dragon Boast Festival became a public holiday in 2008, as the government wishes to protect the nation's tradition amid economic modernization.



 

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