A Look at 6 Popular Chinese Holidays & Festivals
Let's take a fun and engaging journey through some of the most popular Chinese holidays celebrated throughout the year!
Chinese New Year
Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China. It falls on a different date every year, but it usually takes place between late January and mid-February. Chinese New Year is all about spending time with family, eating delicious food, and wishing each other good luck for the coming year. It's a huge festival where most of the country shuts down for the holidays and there's lots of Lion dancing, drumming, red decor, and celebration. One of the most important traditions of Chinese New Year is the giving of red envelopes filled with money, known as "hong bao" in Mandarin.
The Lantern Festival marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, and it usually falls on the 15th day of the lunar calendar. People celebrate by lighting and releasing paper lanterns into the sky, symbolizing the release of troubles and worries. Another important tradition is solving lantern riddles, where riddles are written on the lanterns and people compete to solve them.
The Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, is a day for families to pay their respects to their ancestors by visiting their graves, cleaning them, and offering food and flowers. It takes place on April 4th or 5th every year, and it is also an occasion for families to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and have a picnic outdoors.
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, usually in June. The festival commemorates the death of the famous Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in a river in protest of political corruption. People celebrate by racing dragon boats, eating sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves called "zongzi," and wearing sachets filled with herbs to ward off evil.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, usually in September or October. The festival is all about family reunions, eating mooncakes, and admiring the full moon. Mooncakes are a traditional Chinese pastry filled with sweet or savory fillings, and they are often given as gifts to friends and family during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Double Ninth Festival
The Double Ninth Festival, also known as Chongyang Festival, is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, usually in October. The festival is all about climbing mountains, enjoying the autumn scenery, and drinking chrysanthemum tea. It is also a day for respecting and honoring the elderly, as the number "nine" is considered lucky and symbolizes longevity.
These Chinese holidays are all about spending time with loved ones, enjoying good food, and carrying on important traditions that have been passed down for generations. They give us a chance to reflect on our heritage and connect with our cultural roots. So, whether you are celebrating Chinese New Year or the Mid-Autumn Festival, take the opportunity to embrace the spirit of these special holidays and share in the joy with those around you!