топик Dragon Boat Festival / Фестиваль лодок-драконов на английском языке



Can you hear the sound of the drum? It’s the annual Dragon Boat Festival. People around the world enjoy dragon boat racing. The sport originated in China over 2000 years ago. One legend says that the festival honors the life of a poet named Qu Yuan. This ancient statesman was living in exile after a jealous king banished him from the state of Chu. Qu Yuan wrote poetry while he was away from his beloved homeland. To protest the corruption in his state, he committed suicide by jumping into the Miluo River.
The people who loved him rushed out in fishing boats and beat drums to scare off the fish. They also threw rice in the water. They hoped the fish would eat the rice instead of their beloved poet’s body. According to Chinese legend, Qu Yuan’s spirit appeared and told the people to wrap their rice gifts in silk packages to keep the river dragon away. The festival is held each year on the day of the poet’s death. In the lunar calendar, this is the fifth day of the fifth moon. Today, the dragon boat festival symbolizes health, and the chasing away of disease and evil spirits. Traditional dragon boat teams had 40-50 paddlers.
A typical dragon boat today has 20 paddlers, 1 caller and 1 sweep. The caller sits at the bow and plays the drum. The sweep stands at the back and controls the steering . The two people in the front seats are called the leads. To win the race, the other paddlers must synchronize their strokes with the leads. On the day of the festival, the boats are decorated with a dragon’s face and tail.

 

READING QUESTIONS

  1. How many types of boats do you know in English?
  2. What is the difference between a canoe and a dragon boat?
  3. Why do you think dragon boats have drums?
  4. Do you enjoy watching races? Which do you prefer car, boat, foot, ski, or swim races?
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