The Dragon Boat Festival of year 2017 is on May 30. It’s a traditional holiday originating in China, occurring near the summer solstice.
The festival commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan. It’s said that the local people who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him or at least retrieve his body. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the rice so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi.