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Festivals & Annual Events in Shanghai


Shanghai is well-known for its film festival, which was founded in 1993 and now takes place every year in June, attracting international attention and ranking amongst Asia's biggest of its kind.

During the rest of the year, much of Shanghai is alive with various cultural events, as well as large-scale celebrations of traditional Chinese national holidays and spectacular lantern festivals. Each October, the Shanghai International Arts Festival is a particular highlight when it comes to things to do. The city also enjoys a number of sporting events at this time of the year, including the Tennis Masters Cup at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in October, which is followed by the city's popular marathon each November.

Attending these events offers an exceptional opportunity to see some of the city's interesting historic traditions and to interact with the locals.


New Year's Holiday – held on January 1st and 2nd is a national holiday and celebrated throughout the city, with lion and dragon dances at the Longhua Temple.


Chinese New Year falls according to the traditional Chinese calendar and is celebrated with dragon dances, lots of red decorations and visits to kin, relatives and friends. Chinese New Year (date varies according to the lunar calendar) is the most important festival in China and lasts for 15 days, with the first seven days being public holidays. Public transport is thrown into chaos around Beijing, as the Chinese make their way home to celebrate with family and friends. Houses are decorated with all things red, parcels containing money are exchanged, houses are spring cleaned and reunion dinners are held

Lantern Festival marks the end of Chinese New Year and is held on the 15th day of the New Year festivities.
The festival is based at the Yuyuan Gardens and featuring locals walking around nearby streets, carrying illuminated paper lanterns.


Longhua Temple Fair goes back over 300 years, when the laughing Buddha was born under the Longhua tree, preached Buddhism and saved people from worldly sufferings.


Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival, held over one week, is a traditional and grand festival promoting Chinese national culture and fostering friendship with people from all over the world.


Dragon Boat Festival is held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and commemorates the national hero Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the 3rd century BC to protest against the corrupt emperor. Held mid May and lasting around one week, Shanghai International Music Festival features a range of music-related events and well-attended concerts,

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