Top 10 Most Celebrated Festivals of China

Festivals are the time to rejoice and celebrate. The atmosphere is full of joy and festivity. People take out time from their hectic schedule and overcome their grudges. Every heart is beaming with positivity. China is a land of festivals. The Chinese calendar is marked with many festivals which are in accordance with the lunar calendar and their actual date often changes every year.

10. National Day of China

It is celebrated on 1st October, when the Manchu Dynasty was defeated by the Sun Yatsen in a bloodless war. They first thought of Democratic form of government but later turned on to communalism. Although following communalism and being an atheist, the country follows various religions like Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

9. Buddha’s birthday

It is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth moon. The legend behind this is that when Buddha was born, nine dragons spat on the water. Buddha’s birthday is celebrated all over China with great vigor and fervor. Buddha is also known as Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of the Buddhism. People wash Buddha’s idols and statues and eat Chinese dishes.

8. Double ninth festival

Also known as “Chong yang”, the double ninth festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese calendar. This festival usually falls in the month of October according to the Western calendar. This festival is also famous with the name of “Height ascending festival” as there is a custom to ascend heights on this day to avoid epidemics, which is being followed since the time of the ancient Evan Han dynasty. The traditional cake is a nine layered also known as Double ninth Gao and resembles a tower. The Chinese government declared it as Senior’s day in 1989 and all the government organizations since then organize autumn trips for their retired employees to nearby mountain areas and the scenic beauty surrounding it.

7. Mid-Autumn festival

It is rejoiced on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of lunar calendar which usually falls between the offset of September and the onset of October according to the western calendar. This festival celebrates the moon. The round shape of the moon symbolizes wholeness and togetherness indication the unity of the family. On this day people from all corners of the world meet their family members and spend time with them. Enjoying the reunion, people usually eat moon cakes, rounded pastries which are stuffed with nuts, dried fruits, preserved flowers, sesame or marinated beef or bacon. The importance of this festival increases further as it falls in the eighth month and eight is a popular number among the Chinese people signifying affluence and prosperity.

6. Dragon boat

This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. People on this day celebrate the unfortunate demise of a Chinese poet, Qu Yuan who drowned himself in his fight against corruption. People then made many attempts to save the precious life of their hero. They beat loud drums to scare fish away from the body of the poet. Also they threw rice dumplings to distract the fishes from eating their hero, as per the legend. Since then it has become a customary practice to eat “Zongzi” which is a pyramid shaped rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves and drink realgar wine on this auspicious day. Also many dragon boat races are organized which are purely recreational.

5. Double seventh festival (Chinese Valentine’s Day)

This festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month according to the lunar calendar. This is a special festival which is dedicated to lovers. It was originated to appreciate the  love of Niu Lang and Zhi NV. The legend behind this day is that the two lovers were separated from the families as Niu Lang was a normal boy living on earth while Zhi NV was a girl with supernatural powers and was a resident of heaven. But to unite their pure and serene love the magpies on the seventh day of the lunar month build a bridge with their wings to form a passage to cross to meet her lover.

4. Qingming festival

It is celebrated on the twelfth day of the third month of lunar calendar which usually falls between 4th to 6th of April according to the western calendar. This festival is an amalgamation of happiness and sadness. This festival is marked with paying respect to the ancestors. People clean the graves of their forefathers, make offerings in the form of food and also burn money in the belief that this would help their ancestors to live a life of their own will in the “Life after death”. Also people show great passion for kite flying on this day. 

3. Lantern festival

The lantern festival is celebrated on the first full moon of the lunar calendar. It marks the end of the New Year celebrations. It has its origin long back in history when the Jade emperor in heaven was raged by the killing of his favorite goose and decided to take revenge by setting the town on fire. When a noble hearted fairy got to know about this pathetic act, she instructed the natives to light lanterns on a particular day. The townsfolk followed the directives and the whole town was ablaze. Seeing this, the emperor changed his mind and the town was saved. Since then this day is celebrated as Lantern festivals. The spectacular fireworks and the glimmering lights escalate the festive mood created by lion and dragon dances.

2. Spring festival

This festival falls on 1st day of 1st lunar month, one month after than the western calendar. This festival is very much similar to Christmas and is celebrated with huge ardor and buzz. This festival is dedicated towards family, its togetherness and unity. People visit their relatives, usually termed as “new year visits” and greet them. They are robed in new clothes which signify the beginning of a new year. The color red is given special attention. All the gifts and presents are wrapped in red packets and are given to the younger ones by their elders. People commemorate this festival by dancing and beating drums.

1. Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of lunar calendar which usually falls between late January and early February in accordance with the Western calendar. It is the most important festival for the Chinese people which is celebrated with great pomp and show. The people rejoice this festival by meeting and greeting their near and dear ones. It is accompanied by the glittering and scintillating fireworks, Yankee dancing, lion and dragon dancing. People also organize fairs in various temples. They welcome the New Year with great zeal and optimism and congratulate each other for passing the previous year. The commonly heard expressions are Guonian (for successfully passing the last year) and Bainian (wishing the onset of the New Year).

 

     

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