25 Chinese Cultural Club and Eastern Pacific Youth Club members attended the Gulf Coast International Dragon Boat competition this Saturday, October 18. This is the first time St. Agnes and Strake Jesuit attended the Dragon Boat Festival and participated in the race. Our students did a great job representing our school. With only one practice before the race and being the only new team, they won the bracket B division, 4th-6th placement after the 2 qualifying rounds.
The Chinese Club was formed to inform the student body about Chinese culture through fun and exhilarating activities. The Dragon Boat Festival is traditionally celebrated in May in honor of a Chinese poet and minister, named Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a loyal high official in the court of Chu royal house. The emperor at that time sided with opposing forces (the Qin). Qu was banished from the court and soon exiled. During this period of time Qu wrote many wonderful poems that inspired the Chinese population. Around 28 years later the emperor was taken over by Ying forces. In his despair, Qu committed suicide by jumping into a river. Some of the locals who admired or were inspired by his work raced to the river and got into boats to find him. They threw rice balls wrapped in banana leaves, also known as Zhong zi, to keep the fish from eating Qu and focus on the rice. This act of going on the boat and racing is celebrated every year and later became known as dragon boat racing. Today there are global celebrations of the Dragon Boat racing.