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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Major Chinese Holidays & Festivals - Celebrations in the Orient
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Major Chinese Holidays & Festivals - Celebrations in the Orient

China is a historical country with a rich past. If you want to experience more of China's culture and provide some insights to your overseas friends, these major Chinese holidays and festivals are worth paying attention to!


Chinese New Year's Eve

Chinese New Year's Eve is one of the most important days of the year in China and is known to be one of the top cultural festivals around the world too, according to online sites such as Events and Festivals Blog. It is a time for families to get together, have a big meal, and stay up late to welcome the new year. There are many traditions and activities associated with Chinese New Year's Eve. One of the most important is setting off firecrackers. This is believed to scare away evil spirits and bring good luck for the new year.


Spring Festival

As the most important holiday in China, the Spring Festival is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. It usually falls between late January and mid-February. The first day of the festival is spent with family members visiting relatives and friends. Houses are often decorated with red lanterns and couplets with lucky words on them such as "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". People wear new clothes or their best clothes to symbolise a fresh start. On this day, children traditionally receive lucky money in red envelopes from their elders.


Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is a Chinese holiday that occurs on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or the Shangyuan Festival. The Lantern Festival is a time to celebrate the coming of spring and enjoy good food and entertainment. One of the most popular activities during the Lantern Festival is lantern guessing. People write riddles on pieces of paper and put them inside lanterns. Other people try to guess the riddles. Another popular activity during the Lantern Festival is lantern making. People make lanterns out of paper, wood, or metal. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be very simple or very elaborate. Lantern making is a traditional Chinese art form, and it is always fun to see the different designs that people come up with.


Tomb Sweeping Day

Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, is a Chinese holiday that falls on the 104th day after the winter solstice. It is a time to honour one's ancestors and pay respects to those who have passed away. The holiday usually lasts for three days, during which people will visit their ancestral graves, tidy up the tombstones, and offer food and gifts to the spirits of their deceased loved ones. Many people also take this opportunity to enjoy the spring weather by going on picnics or hiking in the mountains.


Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated during the fifth month of the lunar calendar. It is a traditional Chinese festival that commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese poet and minister Qu Yuan. The festival usually involves eating zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings), drinking realgar wine, racing dragon boats, and hanging icons of Zhong Kui (a mythic guardian figure). Many of these activities are thought to repel evil spirits and bad luck.