The tradition of dragonboat racing originated in southern China over 2,000 years ago. According to legend, a poet and statesman named Qu Yuan made himself a target of his rivals through unswerving honor and integrity. When said enemies were able to trick the king into banishing Qu Yuan from the province, he loaded his pockets with stones and threw himself into the Mi Lo River. Local fishermen raced in vain to rescue him, their drums pounding and paddles splashing to scare the fish and water dragons away. To honor the lost and beloved Qu Yuan, the dragonboat race was made an annual event.