The traditional Chinese festivals and events compose an important part of Chinese culture which is characterized by rich in diverse styles and themes. Many of the cultures connect with the traditional festivals which have links with religious devotions, superstitions, and myths.
Chinese festival customs are passed down until today and still show signs of ethnic group struggles. Moreover, the festival activities always reflect primitive sacrifice, superstitious taboo, earthly life, people’s spirit, and religious influence.
Traditional Chinese Festivals
The traditional Chinese festivals and events are based on the Chinese moon calendar. China is a large land which has many ethnic groups. The different ethnic groups have different festivals in different places. Even at the same festival, they follow different customs too.
Almost every festival has its own unique origins and customs which reflect the traditional practices and morality of the whole Chinese nation and its people. Here we introduce some important and commonly celebrated festivals in China.
Chinese New Year or Spring Festival
Chinese New Year or spring festival starts on 1st day until the 15th day of the first lunar month every year. This festival is the most important feast of the year for the Chinese people. It is when all family members get together. They are decorating their homes in red and gold with highlighting Chinese calligraphy.
The Chinese character “fu” put on paper is a must. Two big red lanterns can be seen on both sides of the front door and red paper cuttings on the window glass. In addition, setting off firecrackers and fireworks plays an important role. They are also paying new year visits and eating jiaozi.
The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, usually in February or March. This day’s important activity is watching lanterns. The customs in lantern festival are watching lanterns and fireworks, guessing lantern riddles, performing folk dances, and eating yuan xiao.
The Qingming (Pure Brightness) Festival falls on April 4th to 6th of the solar calendar. The Qingming Festival sees a combination of sadness and happiness. This is the most important day of sacrifice.
In each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who came to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices. In contrast to the sadness, people also enjoy hope of spring on this day by flying kites.
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is on the 5th day of the 5th of lunar month which has a history of more than 2,000 years. Dragon Boat Festival customs are dragon boat racing, eating zongzi, wearing a perfume pouch, tying five color silk threads, and hanging mugwort leaves and calamus.
Double Seventh Festival
The Double Seventh Festival is on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. It is a traditional festival full of romance or what Valentine’s Day to the western countries.
This festival is a day of great importance to girls. Chinese people are usually praying for skillful hands, appreciating the stars, and eating noodles, jiaozi, and wontons.
The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually in October. It is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year.
Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest. Chinese people are usually appreciating and offering sacrifice to the moonlight and eating mooncakes.
Chongyang Festival or Double Ninth Festival
This festival falls on 9th day of the 9th lunar month. In Chinese, nine is assumed as the number of Yang (which means masculine as opposed to Yin which is feminine).
On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao or cake. They eat
Winter Solstice Festival
It usually falls on December 21st, 22nd or 23rd instead of on a fixed day. On that day, the northern hemisphere has the shortest daytime and longest nighttime.
As ancient Chinese thought, the yang or muscular positive things will become stronger and stronger after this day, so it should be celebrated. People are having dumplings in northern areas and having sticky puddings in southern areas on this day.
Laba Festival falls on 8th day of the 12th lunar month. Laba Festival was for people to give sacrifices to their ancestors, and to pray to heaven and earth for a good harvest and good luck for the family. They are eating laba rice porridge on this day.
The traditional Chinese festivals and events compose an important part of Chinese culture which is characterized by rich in diverse styles and themes.