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Top 10 Chinese Festivals


Overview of Chinese Top 10 Festivals

Chinese Festivals DatesFeatures
2010 New Year's Day Jan.1–Jan.3 Same with western countries
Spring Festival Feb.13–Feb.19 The Spring Festival is important just like Charismas in the West.
Lantern Festival Feb.28 The first night to see a full moon of a year.
Qingming Festival April.5 It is the festival to commemorate the dead.
Labor Day May.1–May.3 Same with western countries; the day of Word Expo Shanghai 2010
Dragon Boat Festival June.16 Traditional festival for dragon boat racing and rice-dumplings eating
Chinese Valentine's Day Aug.16 The annual tribute to romantic love
Mid-autumn Festival Sep.22–Sep.24 Festival for people to get together with families, appreciating the full moon and eating delicious moon cakes.
Double Ninth Festival Sep. 16 Considered as the last outing of the year before the onset of winter, for people to go climbing to get some exercise as well as enjoy the autumn scenery.
National Holiday Oct.1–Oct. 7 Celebration on the founding of new P. R. China

New Year's Day 20101. 2010 New Year's Day

New Year's Day is the first day of the year. On the modern Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated on January 1, as it was also in ancient Rome (though other dates were also used in Rome). In all countries except for Israel using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, it is a public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the New Year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. In Western Christianity New Year's Day, January 1, is the eighth day of Christmas.

Spring Festival 2. Spring Festival

The Spring Festival, just like Christmas in the West, is the most important festival for the Chinese people and is when all family members get together.

The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month, often one month later than the Gregorian calendar. The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends, a practice known as "new-year visits" (Bainian in Pinyin). New clothes are usually worn to signify a new year. The color red is liberally used in all decorations. Red packets are given to juniors and children by the married and elders.

Lantern Festival 3. Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. You will never confuse it with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Lantern Festival officially ends the Chinese New Year.

People will eat Tangyuan, or rice dumplings, which in Chinese has a similar pronunciation with "tuanyuan", tasting sweet and delicious. Besides, performances such as a dragon lantern dance, a lion dance, a land boat dance, walking on stilts and beating drums while dancing will be staged.  

Qingming Festival 4. Qingming Festival

The Qingming Festival is one of the 24 seasonal division points in China, falling on April 4-6 each year. After the festival, the temperature will rise up and rain fall increases. It is the high time for spring plowing and sowing. But the Qingming Festival is not only a seasonal point to guide farm work; it is more a festival of commemoration.

On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. So, the Qingming Festival sees a combination of sadness and happiness.

Labor Day 5. Labor Day

Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 6 in 2010).

The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada. In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year.

Boat Dragon Festival 6. Dragon Boat Festival

The Duanwu Festival is a traditional and statutory holiday associated with Chinese culture. The Dragon Boat Festival, the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, has had a history of more than 2,000 years, and this is the source of the alternative name of Double Fifth. It is usually in June in the Gregorian calendar. The best-known traditional story holds that the festival commemorates the death of the poet Qu Yuan of the ancient state of Chu, in the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty.

Three of the most widespread activities for the Duanwu Festival are eating Zongzi, and angular rice ball wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves; drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats.

Chinese Valentine's Day 7. Chinese Valentine's Day

The Chinese also have a day devoted to love – Qi Qiao Jie, the 7th of the 7th lunar month. While the annual gift giving commonly associated with St. Valentine's Day doesn't take place, there are several charming customs associated with this romantic day for lovers.

The day was originated to commomerate the love of Niu Lang and Zhi Nv, who were beloved but separated by their families. Niu Lang was a common people living on the earth, while Zhi Nv was a supernatural girl living on the heaven. Legend has it that on the seventh night of the seventh moon, magpies form a bridge with their wings for Zhi Nv to cross to meet her lover – Niu Lang.

Mid-Autumn Day 8. Mid-autumn Festival

August the 15th according to the lunar calendar is the traditional Mid Autumn Festival in China. The festival is the second most important festival to the Spring Festival to Chinese people. Every year, when the festival comes people go home from every corner of the world to meet their family and have dinner with them.

The festival is the second most important festival after the Spring Festival to Chinese people. Every year, when the festival comes people go home from every corner of the country and the world to meet their family and have dinner with them.

Why is the Mid-Autumn Festival so important? It is related to the moon and Chinese people like the moon very much. In Chinese culture, the full moon is a symbol of peace and prosperity for the whole family. Its roundness symbolizes wholeness and togetherness. In the middle of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar the moon is full, and eight is also a popular number in Chinese culture, symbolizing wealth and prosperity. So people believe this day is very propitious.


Chongyang Jie 9. Double Ninth Festival

The Double Ninth Festival, observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar, is a traditional Chinese holiday, mentioned in writing since before the East Han period.

According to the I Ching, nine is the yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival". To protect against the danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear the zhuyu plant, Cornus officinalis. (Both chrysanthemum and zhuyu are considered to have cleansing qualities and are used on other occasions to air out houses and cure illnesses.) Also on this holiday, some Chinese also visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.


National Holiday 10. National Holiday

The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler (birthday, accession, removal etc). Often the day is not called "National Day" but serves and can be considered as one. The National Day will often be a national holiday.

Some countries have more than one National Day. For example, Pakistan has three National Days, none of which is named the"National Day". This signals the use of a "class" of National Days, that are equally important in the foundation of the nation, and a "class" of less important official public holidays.

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