Top 8 Traditional Chinese Festivals

Traditional Chinese festivals are an important part of the long history and culture of the Chinese nation, with diverse forms and rich contents. The formation of traditional festivals is a process of long-term accumulation and cohesion of the history and culture of a nation or country. Traditional Chinese festivals not only clearly record the rich and colorful social life and cultural content of the ancestors of the Chinese nation, but also accumulate profound historical and cultural connotations.


Chinese traditional festivals mainly include the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Cold Food Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Qixi Festival, Zhongyuan Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, Double Ninth Festival, Water Lantern Festival, New Year's Eve, etc. Here, we list the top 8 traditional Chinese festivals for you.


1. Spring Festival - Lunar January 1st

The Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year, is the first day of the year, which is one of the four traditional Chinese festivals and the biggest festivals of China. Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the first lunar month to the seventh day. During the Spring Festival, various New Year celebration activities are held all over the country, with strong regional characteristics, and a lively and festive atmosphere.


Spring Festival


The celebration activities are mainly to remove the old and build the new, exorcise evil and fight disasters, worship gods and ancestors, and pray for good fortune, which are the essence of Chinese traditional culture. The celebration activities during the Spring Festival including lion dance, dragon dance, temple fair, lantern viewing, beating gongs and sound drums, setting off firecrackers and fireworks, praying for blessing, walking on stilts, doing the Yangko dance and so on.


2. Lantern Festival - Lunar January 15th

The Lantern Festival, also known as the Shang Yuan Festival, falling on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, is one of the top 8 traditional Chinese festivals. The Lantern Festival as a real folk festival was after the Han and Wei dynasties. The Lantern Festival custom has been dominated by viewing lantern since ancient times.


Lantern Festival


The custom of lighting lanterns on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month is related to the east spread of Buddhism. At present, the Lantern Festival mainly includes a series of traditional folk activities such as viewing lanterns, eating glutinous rice ball, guessing lantern riddles, and setting off fireworks.


3. Qingming Festival - Around April 5Tth

Qingming Festival, also known as Ching Ming Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Ancestor Worship Festival, is held at the turn of mid-spring and late spring. Tomb-sweeping Festival originated from ancient ancestor beliefs and spring rites. It has two connotations of nature and humanity. Qing Ming is not only a natural solar term, but also a traditional festival.


Qingming Festival


Tomb sweeping and ancestor worship and spring outing are the two main themes of Qingming Festival. It is not only a solemn festival for sweeping tombs and worshipping ancestors, but also a joyous festival for people to get close to nature, go out and enjoy the fun of spring. The Qingming solar term is generally around April 5 in the Gregorian calendar, that is, the 15th day after the vernal equinox.


4. Dragon Boat Festival - Lunar May 5th

Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanyang Festival, Chongwu Festival, Duanwu Festival, is one of four traditional Chinese folk festivals. The Dragon Boat Festival originated from the worship of celestial phenomena and evolved from the sacrifice of dragons in ancient times.


Dragon Boat Festival


According to legend, the poet Qu Yuan of the Chu State during the Warring States Period committed suicide by jumping on the Miluo River on May 5. Later, people also regarded the Dragon Boat Festival as a day to commemorate Qu Yuan. The customs of Dragon Boat Festival include hanging wormwood and calamus, dragon boat racing, eating Zongzi, drinking realgar wine, and wearing spice sachets.


5. Qixi Festival - Lunar July 7th

Qixi Festival, also known as Qiqiao Festival, Qijie Festival, Girl's Day, Double Seventh Festival, Chinese Valentine's Day, is a traditional Chinese folk festival. It is the traditional custom of Qixi festival to worship the seven sisters, pray for blessings and wishes, watch the Altair and vega, and pray for marriage.


Qixi Festival


The beautiful love legend of "Cowherd and Weaver Girl" endows the Qixi Festival with the connotation related to love, making it a festival symbolizing love, and thus is considered to be the most romantic traditional festival in China.


6. Ghost Festival - Lunar July 15th

Ghost Festival was originally the ancestor worship festival in Mid-July day, also known as Zhongyuan Festival. The main festival customs include worshiping ancestors, setting river lanterns, worshiping dead souls, burning paper ingots, etc. The birth of "Mid-July" can be traced back to ancient ancestral worship and harvest festival. In ancient times, people often placed their blessings on the gods for good harvests.


Ghost Festival


Taoism believes that July 15th is the birthday of the Earth God, and it is the day when the Earth God forgives sins. All ghosts will be released from the netherworld and the deceased ancestors can return home for reunion. Therefore, the July 15th Festival of Sacrifice to the Ancestors is called "Zhongyuan Festival".


7. Mid-Autumn Festival - Lunar August 15th

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Worship Festival and Reunion Festival, is a traditional Chinese folk festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival originated from the worship of celestial phenomena and evolved from the sacrifice the moon of ancient times.


Mid-Autumn Festival


Since ancient times, the Mid-Autumn Festival has had folk customs such as worshiping the moon, admiring the moon, eating moon cakes, playing with lanterns, admiring osmanthus flowers, and drinking osmanthus wine, which has been passed down for a long time. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also a good time for family reunion.


8. Double Ninth Festival - Lunar September 9th

The Double Ninth Festival, on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, is a traditional Chinese folk festival. It is also a Chinese day for respecting the aged. The ancients believed that Double Ninth Festival was an auspicious day. In ancient times, folks used to climb high to pray for blessing, travel in autumn to appreciate chrysanthemums, wear cornel, worship gods and ancestors, and hold banquets for longevity.


Double Ninth Festival


In 1989, China designated lunar September 9th each year as the Elderly's Day, which became a festival to respect, love and help the elderly. Climbing to appreciate the autumn and expressing gratitude to the elderly are two important themes of the double Ninth Festival activities.

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