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It is unofficially observed by the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia.Equivalent and related official festivals include the Japanese holiday of Children's Day (Japan).Dragon boat racing has a rich history of ancient ceremonial and ritualistic traditions, which originated in southern central China more than 2500 years ago.The legend starts with the story of Qu Yuan, who was a minister in one of the Warring State governments, Chu.The Duanwu Festival, also often known, especially in the West, as the Dragon Boat Festival, is a traditional holiday originating in China, occurring near the summer solstice.It is also known as Zhongxiao Festival (Chinese: ), commemorating fealty and filial piety.

The stories of both Qu Yuan and Wu Zixu were recorded in Sima Qian's Shiji, completed 187 and 393 years after the events, respectively, because historians wanted to praise both characters.

Another theory, advanced by Wen Yiduo, is that the Dragon Boat Festival originated from dragon worship.

Support is drawn from two key traditions of the festival: the tradition of dragon boat racing and zongzi.

Another suggestion is that the festival celebrates a widespread feature of east Asian agrarian societies: the harvest of winter wheat.

Offerings were regularly made to deities and spirits at such times: in the ancient Yue, dragon kings; in the ancient Chu, Qu Yuan; in the ancient Wu, Wu Zixu (as a river god); in ancient Korea, mountain gods (see Dano).

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