In here we share with you 10 fun festivals in China. Chinese festivals and events are a big part of Chinese culture and everyday life. Almost every month there is a celebration going on, and one thing common among all these celebrations is the fact that they are rich in history and tradition and are accompanied by flashy decorations as well as dazzling lights.
Almost all the Chinese festivals take place according to the lunar calendar, so the exact date on which the festival will be held varies from one year to another in the Western calendar. Here are 10 vibrant and colourful festivals celebrated throughout the year in China that you must definitely take part in!
Table of Contents
- 01. Snow and Ice Festival
- 02. Chinese New Year festival
- 03. China’s Lantern Festival
- 04. Qinming Festival
- 05. Dragon Boat Festival
- 06. The Qixi Festival
- 07. Ghost Festival
- 08. Mid-Autumn Festival
- 09. Double Ninth Festival
- 10. Yuandan Festival
01. Snow and Ice Festival
This festival is an annual event taking place in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China and is currently the largest snow and ice festival in the world.
Its history started in 1999 when the first Ice and Snow World was opened to the public in December.
At first, the participants were almost all Chinese, however, it kept growing and growing until it was decided to make it an international festival and competition.
02. Chinese New Year festival
Celebrations begin with the rising of the second new moon after the winter solstice (21 December).
This can occur on any date between 21 January and 20 February.
Also known as the Spring Festival, New Year festivities usher out the old year and are meant to bring luck and prosperity in the new one.
There are family banquets and outdoor spectacles featuring firecrackers, fireworks and often dancing dragons. The major celebrations are held on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
In China, millions travel – sometimes thousands of miles – to celebrate with their families.
03. China’s Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is one of the most loved festivals of China which is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar, during the full moon.
This year the festival is being celebrated on February 15. Also known as Shangyuan Festival, it marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations.
During the festival, people light paper lanterns and children solve riddles on the lanterns.
04. Qinming Festival
Qingming is also known as Taqing Festival. Tàqīng means spring outing, an event that would usually involve enjoying April’s perfect spring air, except the chances of doing so are currently pretty slim.
A popular family activity is kite-flying and it is customary to fly a kite with colored lanterns tied to the end.
There is a superstition that if you let go of the kite, it will ward off diseases and bring good luck.
05. Dragon Boat Festival
The festival is a traditional Chinese holiday held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar and is sometimes known as the “Double Fifth” festival.
The date falls in May or June in the Gregorian calendar, but significantly, the fifth lunar month in China is considered especially unlucky, a time when people believed there were more illnesses and natural disasters abound to blight their good health and fortune.
In fact, the time of year coincides with China’s annual flood season and midsummer, when insects and bacteria breed fastest, so infections were common at this time, especially with poor sanitation and contaminated waterways.
The floods would also blight the crops, adding to the fifth month’s bad reputation.
06. The Qixi Festival
The Qixi Festival (Double Seventh Festival) is one of Chinese traditional festivals, and also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. It’s based on a romantic legend about a weaver girl and an ox herd.
Double Seven Festival (Qixi) is the most romantic of traditional Chinese festivals, and since China’s globalization it’s become known as “Chinese Valentine’s Day”.
Now people usually celebrate Chinese Valentine’s Day by giving flowers, chocolates, and other presents to their sweethearts, instead of doing the traditional customs.
07. Ghost Festival
The Ghost Festival, or Zhongyuan Festival, comes midway through the seventh month of the lunar Chinese calendar, usually falling on the 15th day in most places, or on the 14th in some southern parts in China.
The day is believed to be when the spirits of the deceased return to their families, while homeless ghosts also visit the world of the living to enjoy the feast. People offer sacrifices, burn joss paper and incense, not only for the deceased family, but also for homeless ghosts who visit the living world for food and fun. Celebrated in each autumn, it is also when people show their gratitude for the land and pray for good harvest.
08. Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival is the most important holiday in China after Chinese New Year – and nowhere celebrates it quite like Hong Kong. Expect thumping drums, lanterns in all colours and forms, dragon dances and as many mooncakes as you can eat.
The festival is associated with the full moon, taking place on the 8th full moon in the Lunar Calendar – in September or October in the Western calendar. At this time, Earth’s satellite appears larger and rounder, due to its elliptical orbit cycle.
09. Double Ninth Festival
The ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese lunar calendar is a traditional Chinese festival — the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival.
In Chinese culture, nine has long been regarded as the number of yang, making the day of the festival one of two yang numbers, while “chong” in Chinese means double – thus creating the name of the festival, Chongyang.
10. Yuandan Festival
The New Year’s Day is a grand festival worldwide, China is no exception. In China they call it Yuandan Festival, “Yuan” means “at the beginning”. “Dan” means “day”, so joined together the words mean “first day of a year.”
Chinese celebrate the New Year like people all over the world. All kinds of festive programs are broadcast on TV, many companies and institutions hold parties, bringing everyone into the jubilant atmosphere of the festival.