We have listed some of the most important festivals in China . It is a great experience to witness one of the festivals as it will give you the opportunity to ‘see and feel' China 's rich culture.
Chinese Lunar Calendar New Year, or Spring Festival has the longest chronological record in history. Like the Western calendar, the Chinese Lunar Calendar is a yearly celebration, with the start of the lunar year being based on the cycles of the moon. Because of this cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each.
The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality.
Like Christmas to Westerns, Spring Festival is the most important festival to Chinese. The festival activities may last out for a month. After Yuanxiao Festival, the Spring Festival is ended really. Red color is the color of the Festival, everywhere.
On Chinese New Year, Eve Dinner is specially sumptuous. It's the time to see off the old year and wish for a prosperous new year. At such dinner people give good omens to some of the dishes, such as "facai" is homophonic with "getting rich". After dinner, people will stay up for the night, waiting for the coming of the New Year. This is called "Shou Sui".
On the 15th of the first lunar month, people hang up colorful lanterns. Lanterns can be like ingot, bat, lotus blossom, jade toad, a basin for collecting treasure and a boat of plain sailing. In Shanghai , the Yuyuan garden will be a very crowded place this night.
Duanwu Festival or the Dragon Boat Festival is a long history folk festival. It falls on the 5th of the 5th lunar month. People eat "zongzi", glutinous dumplings wrapped in reed or bamboo leaves, drink realgar wine, wear little bags with sweet-grass, and smoke the rooms with moxa leaves. A dragon boat race is held to commemorate the patriotic poet Qu Yuan, of the Chu State while the Warring State Period.
Moon festival falls on the 15th of the 8th lunar month, so it's called Mid-Autumn festival. It's also called the Reunion Festival, people eat moon cakes and drink sweet Osmanthus wine. When the moon rises, people set up altars in open air and place moon cakes, fruit, soya beans, taros and lotus roots to offer to the moon.