8 Major Chinese Holidays & Festivals To Learn About Explore in China


8 Major Chinese Holidays & Festivals To Learn About

The traditional Chinese holidays are an essential part of harvests or prayer offerings. The most important Chinese holiday is the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), which is also celebrated in Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. All traditional holidays are scheduled according to the Chinese calendar (except the Qing Ming and Winter Solstice days, falling on the respective Gregorian calendar). (wikipedia)

If you are interested in Chinese culture & traditions then it goes without saying that you should spend a little time getting to grasp with the major holidays. There are 8 major Chinese holidays, namely 除夕, 春节, 元宵节, 清明节, 端午节, 中元节, 中秋节, 冬节 that you can’t go wrong with. Do you know them all?

1. 除夕Chúxì

Spring-Festival-eveChinese New Years Eve

The Chinese New Year’s Eve is called 除夕and is the most anticipated night during this period. On this night Chinese families 欢聚一堂 (gather happily under one roof) to 庆祝 (celebrate). Each household celebrates by eating a 年夜饭 (New Year’s Eve dinner). When the meal is over the whole family will sit, chat and play games until midnight when they will 守岁 (stay up to see in the new year).

In recent years however, watching 春节联欢晚会 (Spring Festival Gala) has become a new tradition. The Spring Festival Gala is a 4 hour-long program shown on China’s CCTV, it includes an assortment of performances such as singing, dancing and 相声 (Comic dialogue, crosstalk).

2. 春节 Chūnjié ( between 21st Jan and 20th Feb)

Spring-FestivalSpring Festival

Learn Chinese Festivals and Holidays - Spring festival春节 (Spring Festival) is the longest and most 隆重 (ceremonious) holiday for the 中华民族 (Chinese people). The most significant aspect of the Chinese New Year is to be able to reunite with family members.

Most Chinese people work far away from their hometowns and usually only get to return home a couple of times a year. Learn More.....

3. 元宵节 Yuánxiāo jié (15th of 1st lunar month)

Lantern-FestivalLantern Festival

This holiday is of major importance to the 汉族 (Hànzú) Han ethnic group in china. It is said that the Lantern festival was the time when 汉文帝 (Hàn wéndì) Liu Heng 纪念 (jìniàn) commemorated 平吕 (píng lǚ) the removal of the Lǚ clan. Read more about the history of the Lantern Festival

4. 清明节 Qīngmíng jié (功力 5th April)

qingmingjieTomb Sweeping Day

Qingming or Pure Brightness Festival (清明节) is the second most important festival after Spring Festival (春节).

It is important because it is not just a festival for gathering together, enjoying oneself and eating good food, but because it is a time for commemoration, a day to 纪念 remember and 祭奠 pay respects to one’s ancestors. Read more…

5. 端午节 Duānwǔ jié (31st May)

duanwujieDragon Boat Festival

端午节 Dragon Boat Festival (also known as Double Fifth Festival) falls on June 2 this year (2014), which is the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional lunar calendar.

The holiday starts from May 31 to June 2 and has been held annually for more than 2,000 years in China. This festival celebrates and commemorates the patriotic poet 屈原 Qu Yuan (340-278 BC).

6. 中元节 Zhōng yuán jié (15th July)

Ghost-FestivalGhosts Festival

The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival. The seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), when restless spirits roam the earth.

On this month Ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Activities include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning items for the visiting spirits of the ancestors.

7. 中秋节 Zhōngqiū jié(15th of the 8th lunar month)

Mid-Autumn-FestivalMid-Autumn Festival

Also known as “Moon Festival”, Mid-Autumn festival is a harvest festival that falls on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The Mid-Autumn festival was so named because of the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of autumn season, a time when the moon is at its fullest and brightest.

A popular tradition of Mid-Autumn Festival is to eat 月饼 (mooncakes), thus you may also hear this festival referred to as “Mooncake Festival”.

8. 冬节 Dōng jié

winterWinter Solstice

This is another important traditional Chinese festival, it falls between 22nd of December and the 5th of January. Chinese people managed to figure out the Winter solstice using ancient equipment over 2500 years ago during the Spring-Autumn period (770-476 BC).

Winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It is traditional for people to eat 饺子 and 汤圆 during this period, while we will be looking forward to a nice roast turkey.

Source - luvlanguages.com

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