A country full of amazing history and culture, China is surely one of the best countries to explore. Below is a list of Traditional Chinese Festivals to witness.
China is undoubtedly one of the countries having maintained its rich culture, amazing history, and unique traditions. These are highly shown in their festivals that attract not only Chinese people but also a lot of foreign travelers from all over the world. Aside from the Chinese New Year that is widely known, there are other popular festivals in China that are interesting to learn.
Chinese Festivals that Tourists Must See
1. Chinese New Year / Spring Festival
It’s undoubtedly one of the most prominent and the longest Chinese Festivals. The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, usually occurs for 7 days and the celebration lasts for at least 2 weeks. The celebration starts on New Year’s eve where families gather to eat dinner together. After eating, it’s common for the whole family to sit, talk, and play games until midnight to welcome the new year.
Held on: the 1st – 15th of the first lunar month
2. Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival is the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration period. From the name itself, this festival involves looking at the moon and send flying lanterns up. These beautiful lanterns are of different sizes and shapes with unique designs and colors. They shine so brightly in the evening and it attracts lots of people from all over the world.
Held on: the 15th day of the first lunar month
3. Tomb Sweeping Day
The Tomb Sweeping Day or the Qingming Festival is when Chinese people visit graves and burial grounds to offer respect to their ancestors. The Han Chinese and some other Chinese ethnic minorities bring sacrifices to offer to their loved ones who have already departed from this world.
Held on: the 4th or 5th of April (Solar Calendar)
4. Dragon Boat Festival
During the Dragon Boat Festival, people gather to watch and participate in the most popular activity on this day, the dragon boat racing. This is especially popular in the southern part of China. This is also the time where people eat rice dumplings, it’s glutinous rice wrapped in reed leaves.
Held on: the 5th day of the fifth lunar month (around mid-June)
5. Hungry Ghost Festival
Another famous Chinese festival is the Hungry Ghost Festival. It is a traditional Taoist and Buddhist Festival where people believe that on the seventh month, it is where the restless spirits roam the earth. There are certain ceremonies that are done during this festival including preparing food offerings, burning incense, and burning items for the visiting spirits of the deceased ancestors.
Held on: the 15th day of the seventh lunar month
6. Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival is the second most important festival in China. It occurs in the middle of the autumn season when the moon is at its fullest and shines the brightest. It also symbolizes reunion time for families the same as Thanksgiving Day. There’s a popular tradition where people eat mooncakes during this festival, that’s why you may also hear others calling it “Mooncake Festival”.
Held on: the 15th day of the eighth lunar month
7. Winter Solstice
Another traditional Chinese Festival you should witness. Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day and the longest night of the year which occurs on the 21st or 22nd of December. During this time, it is common for people to visit each other, eat dumplings, common in northern areas, and having sticky puddings in southern areas. They are a must-try if you’re in the country during this festival.
Held on: the 21st, 22nd, or 23rd of December (Solar Calendar)
8. Double Seventh Day
Also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, Double Seventh Day falls on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar, hence its name. It is linked to a romantic legend in China and during this festival, women will show their handicrafts and wish for a good husband. On the other hand, men give flowers to women. Younger couples usually go on a date and celebrate this day.
Held on: 7th day of the seventh lunar month (around mid-August)
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About the Writer
Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.