Chinese Festival

In the long history of about 5,000 years, numerous Chinese traditional festivals were celebrated as the memory of gods or some significant days, some of which are passed down from generation to generation, while the other faded away for a certain reason. The traditional festivals include the nationwide ones and the regional ones, all of which are deem as a treasure to the Chinese culture. The traditional festivals are of special significance, and people always practice special traditional activities in each festival.

Spring Festival (过年/春节):
When to celebrate:
Spring festival is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Lunar Calendar (Later January or early February of Western Calendar).

How to celebrate:
Traditionally, on that day, people past Spring Couplets, set off fireworks, pay New Year visits to their friends and relatives, and they, especially the north Chinese, share dumplings with families.

Taboos:
On the spring festival people don’t sweep the room, don’t quarrel and adults don’t beat or scold the kids. 

Lantern Festival (元宵节):
When to celebrate:
Lantern festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Calendar (Around February).

How to celebrate:
People perform the walk-on-stilts, the dragon-dance and lion-dance in the daytime, and in the evening enjoy flower lights, guess riddles on lantern, and share the sweet dumplings (made of glutinous rice flour) with families or friends.

Qingming Festival / Tomb Sweeping Day (清明节/寒食节):
When to celebrate:
Qingming Festival is on the 15th day after Spring Equinox (March 20 or 21) / Around April 4 or April 5.

How to celebrate:
All over the country, all the people will go to worship their ancestors and the remove the weeds growing on the ancestors’ tomb to make them clean, so this festival is also called tomb-sweeping festival. 

Taboos: In some areas, people are forbidden to use the fire to cook the food, so they only eat the cool food. Thus, Qingming Festival is also named Hanshi Festival.

Dragon Boat Festival / Duanwu Festival (龙舟节/端午节):
When to celebrate:
People celebrate Dragon Boat Festival on the May 5th of the Lunar Calendar / Late May or early June.

How to celebrate:
The traditional activities hold on that day are dragon-boat racing, having the rice dumplings (zongzi), inserting Chinese mugwort into the door head or door side, paste paper-cuts, wear perfume satchel.

Taboos: In some rural areas, people believe in that that day is an evil day, the infants under one-year-old should be taken to his or her grandma’s to prevent from being hurt by the evil.

Mid-Autumn Day (中秋节)
When to celebrate:
On August 15th of the Lunar Calendar / Late September or early October- in the middle autumn, Chinese people, home and abroad, celebrate and enjoy this special festival.

How to celebrate:
It is a special festival when people will back home, no matter where he is, to have family reunion, because Chinese people cherish this day as a day of reunion as the moon waxes. People will get together to enjoy the moon light, have moon-cakes and fruits.

Taboos: It is said that men are forbidden to participate in the moon-worship ceremony, because the moon is feminine.

Double Ninth Festival (重阳节)
When to celebrate:
Double Ninth Festival is celebrated On Sep. 9th of the Lunar Calendar / Around October. The Chinese characters of September is the same as 9, namely "九", so we get this special name.

How to celebrate:
Chinese people, especially the north Chinese, climb the mountains to the peak to enjoy the wonderful perspective, and admire the beauty of chrysanthemum.

Winter Solstice (冬至):
When to celebrate:
Winter solstice is on around December 22 or 23 of solar calendar each year. From winter solstice on, the daytime will be longer and longer.

How to celebrate:
It's a traditional holiday which is deemed as important as the Spring Festival, so Chinese people in the northern region, eat dumplings and wonton, while in the southern regions rice balls.

New Year's Eve (除夕/大年三十)
When to celebrate:
Unlike the New Year’s Eve in western countries, in China it is in late January or early February- the last day of the Lunar year.

How to celebrate:
This festival dates back to the ancient China (2100 B.C. - 221 B.C.) when people drove the evils away by beating the drums for a blessed new year.
Nowadays, people celebrate this festival by having a family reunion dinner, setting off fireworks and staying up late.

Taboos: Breaking the dishes and bowls is a thing all the people scare, but if you did it negligently, you have to say:" 碎碎平安(sui sui ping an)", which is a pun, meaning you will be healthy every year.
 
The followings are the major Chinese traditional festivals just for your reference. 

Festival

When to celebrate

How to celebrate

Spring Festival

later January or early February

Past Spring Couplets, Set off fireworks, Pay New Year, Share dumplings with families.
Lantern Festival Around February Perform the walk-on-stilts, the dragon-dance and lion-dance, Enjoy flower lights, Guess riddles on lantern, Eat the sweet dumplings (made of glutinous rice flour)
Dragon-Head-Raising Festival Early March Have an outing, Eat the spring pancakes.
Tomb Sweeping Day Around April 4 and April 5. Worship their ancestors and the remove the weeds growing on the ancestors’ tomb.
Dragon Boat Festival Late May or early June Hold the dragon-boat racing, Have the rice dumplings (Zongzi), Insert Chinese mugwort into the door head, Paste paper-cuts, Wear perfume satchel.
Qixi Festival (China's Valentine's Day) Around August Young men and women date on that night, People look up at the sky to find a bright star in the constellation Aquila as well as the star Vega, which are identified as Niulang (cowherd) and Zhinu (weaver maid).
Ghost Festival Late August or early September Make the lotus lanterns and set them off on the river, Worship ancestors.
Mid-Autumn Day Late September or early October Have family reunion. Enjoy the moon-cakes under the wax moon.
Double Ninth Festival Around October Climb the mountains to the peak to enjoy the wonderful perspective, Admire the beauty of chrysanthemum.
Laba (Rice Porridge) Festival Around January Have rice porridge with nuts and dried fruit
Lunar Year (Little New Year) Late January or early February Worship to Vesta (Kitchen God).
New Year’s Eve Late January or early February Have a family reunion dinner, Set off fireworks, Stay up late.
Chinese Culture

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