hroughout the world, with a history of more than 2,000 years. In 2006, the traditional festival was listed as part of China’s
national intangible cultural heritage. In 2008, it was recognized as a public holiday in the Chinese mainland.
The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chu state
official and poet who lived during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) before the reu
nification of China under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). He was exiled after opposing his king’s decision to ally wit
h the neighboring state of Qin, and when Chu was finally conquered by Qin, he
committed suicide by drowning in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.
The Chu people, who admired Qu Yuan for his loyalty and integrity, th
rew rice dumplings into the river to feed the fish so they would not eat the body of their po
et hero. People then started dragon boat racing to scare off the fish.
Since then, the fifth day of the fifth month on the lunar calendar is cel
brated as the Dragon Boat Festival. The following are some customs for the festival.
in 2002 when it should have been closed. But the city’s detritus has kept on arriving each day in hundreds of trucks.
“About 2,000 tons of garbage is dumped at Ghazipur each day,” a Delhi municipal official said on condition of anonymity.
In 2018, a section of the hill collapsed in heavy rains killing two people. Dumping was banne
d after the deaths, but the measure lasted only a few days because authorities could not find an alternative.
Fires, sparked by methane gas coming from the dump, regularly break out and take days to extinguish.
Shambhavi Shukla, senior researcher at the Center for Science and Environment in New D
elhi, said methane belching from the garbage can become even more deadly when mixed with atmosphere.
Leachate, a black toxic liquid, oozes from the dump into a local canal.
nd for decades and witnessed local farmers’ continuous battles against sandstorms.
“It didn’t just feel like a black storm, it was as if the whole desert was approachi
ng,” recalls Liu Conghui, a writer who was born, and still lives, near the farm Wang once worked.
As the menacing sandstorms made the area increasingly inhospitable, Liu’s whole community planned to up sticks.
To restore the local ecosystem, the Chinese government launched
a 10.7 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) project in 2001. A set of measures were adopted such as sav
ing water, converting farmland into grassland, providing treatment for dry riverways and building dams. In addition to t
hose measures, industrial and agricultural use of water in cities and counties along the river was limited.
Over the past two decades, Xinjiang has infused 7.7 billion cubic meters of water into
the dry trunk stream of the lower reaches of the Tarim River in 19 rounds of water diversion.