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Traditional Festivals in China


Spring Festival

The most important festival in China is the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival marks the beginning of the Chinese lunar New Year, so the first meal is rather important. People usually eat jiaozi or dumplings shaped like a crescent moon on that special day. As for recreational activities during the Sping Festival, the Dragon Dance and Lion Dance are traditionally performed.


Yuanxiao Festival (Lantern Festival)

The Lantern Festival is on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month. It is closely related to Spring Festival. It is traditionally a time for family reunions. The displaying of lanterns is a big event on that day, and another important part of the Festival is eating Yuanxiao, which is small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour.


Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day)

Qingming, meaning clear and bright, is the day for mourning the dead. It falls in early April every year. It corresponds with the onset of warmer weather, the start of spring plowing, and of family outings. Springtime, especially in North China, is the windy season, just right for flying kites. It is not surprising that kite flying is very popular during the Qingming season.


Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival)

The Duanwu Festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. For thousands of years, Duanwu has been marked by eating zongzi and racing dragon boats. Zongzi is a kind of pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice and wrapped in bamboo leaves. Duanwu is also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, because dragon boat races are held during the festival, especially in southern China.



Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Because the full moon is round and symbolizes reunion, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the festival of reunion. People in different parts of China celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in different ways. But one traditional custom has remained and is shared by all Chinese. This is eating the festive specialty: moon cakes —— cakes shaped like the moon.


Chongyang Festival (Double Nine Festival)

The number “nine” belongs to Yang in the theory of Yin and Yang. The ninth day of the ninth lunar month is a day when the two Yang numbers meet. So it is called Chongyang. This festival is usually perfect for outdoor activities. And it is a special day for people to pay their respects to the elderly. It has also been declared China’s day for the elderly.

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