New Year is also known as Spring Festival or the Lunar
New Year. It's the most important traditional festival in China.
It is usually a time between late January or early February and
lasts 15 days from the eve of lunar year until the lantern festival.
Before the Spring Festival, people clean their homes, put red
couplets on their front doors, and set off firecrackers. New
Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair,
a time of reunion. On the eve of the Spring Festival, a banquet
is a must, and the most popular food is Jiaozi (dumpling),
which is supposed to bring good fortune. Fish is also a main
dish, which brings prosperity. People in the south will make
New Year's Cake (Nian Gao, "gao" is
a homophone of "high", so the meaning of New
Year's Cake is being promoted or reaching a higher level in the
coming year). The celebration was traditionally highlighted
with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth,
the gods of the household and the family ancestors. On the New
Year's Day, everybody wears new clothes and says happy new year
(xin nian hao) and good fortune (gong xi fa cai) to each other.
Kids are given red envelopes with money by their relatives.
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also called Yuanxiao Festival. It's on the 15th day of the
first lunar month, and it's the first full moon
after the Spring Festival. It is customary to eat special
sweet dumplings called yuanxiao and enjoy displayed lanterns
during this festival. Yuanxiao are round balls made of glutinous
rice flour stuffed with sugar and bean paste fillings, it symbolizes
family unity and happiness. Various types of beautiful lanterns
are exhibited on this festive night, fireworks set off, folk
shows such as acrobatics, walking on stilts, performing with
dragon lanterns, dancing the yangge and other folk dances and
playing on swings are displayed. The
custom of enjoying lanterns at this time of the year dates
back to the first century, and has been popular since then.
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Ming Festival is
also known as the Grave-sweeping Festival, "Clear and
is when Chinese families show their respect by visiting the
graves of their ancestors. Graves are cleaned, and wine and
fruits are offered to the ancestors. It usually on the 4th
or 5th day of the fourth lunar month. It also marks the beginning
Boat Festival is
also known as Duanwu Festival, it falls on the fifth day of
the fifth lunar month, and together with Chinese New Year and
Moon Festival forms the three major Chinese Festivals. Since
the summer is a time when diseases most easily spread, Dragon
Boat Festival began as an occasion for driving off evil spirits
and pestilence and for finding peace in one's life. It is generally
believed that the festival originated to memorialize the ancient
patriotic poet Qu Yuan.
Dragon Boat Festival
is highlighted by the dragon boat races, in which competing teams
drive their boats forward rowing to the rhythm of pounding drums.
This lively and colorful tradition has continued unbroken for
centuries to the present day.
Qu Yuan, a patriotic
statesman who lived in the state of Chu over 2,200 years ago
during the Warring States period (476 BC-221 BC), repeatedly
offered his king proposals aimed at political corruption. Subsequently,
slandered by treacherous officials, he was exiled. In 278 BC,
the capital of the State of Chu was lost to his enemy and Qu
Yuan drowned himself in despair in Miluo River on the fifth day
of the fifth lunar month. Aware of the tragedy, the local people
living beside the river went out in the boats to try to find
his corpse. People began throwing balls of sweet rice wrapped
in bamboo leaves into the Miluo River to keep the fish from eating
the patriot's body. Over time these rice balls became more elaborate
and varied with the addition of pork, peanuts, salted eggs, and
other fillings, gradually evolving into the modern day Zongzi (glutinous
rice wrapped in a pyramid shape using bamboo or reed leaves). Every
year thereafter on this day people continued to row dragon boats
on their local rivers in memory of Qu Yuans' life and death,
throwing Zongzi into the river as an offering. The most
popular dish during Dragon Boat Festival is Zongzi.
For warding off evil
and disease, some customary practices such as hanging calamus
and moxa on the front door, and pasting up pictures of Zhong
Kui (a nemesis of evil spirits) are used. Adults drink Xiong
Huang wine and children are given fragrant sachets, both of which
are said to possess qualities for preventing evil and bringing
Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month
of the lunar calendar, it's also called Mid-autumn Festival.
it's a time for family reunion. In China, the full moon has
always represented the gatherings of friends and family. It's
said that this festival originated from the ancient ceremony
of Sacrificing to the Moon Goddess. In Chinese fairy tales,
there live on the moon the fairy lady Chang E, her pet Jade
Rabbit, and a wood cutter named Wu Gang. On this full moon
night, families will enjoy the moon while eating moon cakes,
pomeloes and drinking tea. Moon cakes are
cookies with fillings of sugar, fat, sesame, walnut, the yoke
of preserved eggs, ham or other material. The clear full moon
has been depicted by Chinese poets since ancient times. And
the bright moonlight brings warmth and peace to our hearts.
Yeung Festival is
also known as Double Ninth Day, it's a Senior Citizen's Festival.
It falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, a time
of expressing gratitude to the elderly for their hard work.
In Chinese, "nine" is
a number belonging to the positive principle "yang",
and it has the same pronunciation with the word " long
time". Chung Yeung means "double yang". The
day is traditionally celebrated by activities including hill-climbing,
drinking chrysanthemum wine, hanging dogwood sprays.
a day of deep significance, it's the day when day time is the
shortest of the year, it's usually on December 22 or 23. People
in the north eat dumplings, sheep, wonton, people in the south
eat rice balls, sweet dumplings or long noodles to fortify
the body in preparation for the cold winter.
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