The Dragon Boat Festival, held annually on March 5, commemorates the legacy of ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan. Throughout his lifetime, from 340 to 278 B.C., Qu Yuan devoted himself to writing poetry and documenting legends and literature. Greatly disheartened by political corruption at the time, Qu Yuan committed suicide by throwing himself into the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth moon. To deter the onslaught of water spirits and hoards of fish from eating his body, people from Qu Yuan’s village beat drums, splashed water with their paddles and threw rice into the water. The ritual became a tradition born out of southern central China.