Chinese Traditional (Lunar) Festivals and Ethnic Groups Celebrations
Spring Festival --Chinese New Year
Spring Festival is also called Chinese New Year or Chinese Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the first lunar month and ends on 15th of the first lunar month. This is also a famous festival which is called lantern festival on 15th. Chinese New Year's eve is also called Chuxi in Chinese.
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Lunar Calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.
Celebrated in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese, Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours, as well as cultures with whom the Chinese have had extensive interaction. These include Koreans, Mongolians, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and formerly the Japanese before 1873. Outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, Chinese New Year is also celebrated in countries with significant Han Chinese populations, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In Canada, although Chinese New Year is not an official holiday, many ethnic Chinese hold large celebrations and Canada Post issues New Year's themed stamps in domestic and international rates.
The Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also sometimes known as the "Lantern Festival" in locations such as Singapore, Malaysia. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns It officially ends the Chinese New Year.
Qingming Festival-Tomb Sweeping Day
Qingmign Festival is also called Clear Bright Festival, Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice (or the 15th day from the Spring Equinox), usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar (see Chinese calendar). Astronomically it is also a solar term (See Qingming). The Qingming festival falls on the first day of the fifth solar term, named Qingming. Its name denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime (踏青 Tàqīng, "treading on the greenery") and tend to the graves of departed ones. Qingming has been regularly observed as a statutory public holiday in Taiwan and in the Chinese jurisdictions of Hong Kong and Macau. Its observance was reinstated as a public holiday in mainland China in 2008, after having been previously suppressed by the ruling Communist Party in 1949.
Dragon Boat Festival--Duanwu Jie
Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional and statutory holiday associated with Chinese cultures, though it is celebrated in other East Asian and Southeast Asian societies as well. It is a public holiday in Taiwan, where it is known by the Mandarin name Duānwǔ Jié, as well as in Hong Kong and Macau, where it is known by the Cantonese name Tuen Ng Jit. In 2008, the festival was restored in China as an official national holiday. The festival is also celebrated in countries with significant Chinese populations, such as in Singapore and Malaysia. Equivalent and related festivals outside Chinese-speaking societies include the Kodomo no hi in Japan, Dano in Korea, and Tết Đoan Ngọ in Vietnam.
Qixi Festival--Qixi Jie
Qixi Festival (Chinese: 七夕節; pinyin: qī xī jié; literally "The Night of Sevens"), also known as Magpie Festival, falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the Chinese calendar; thus its name. It also inspired Tanabata (aka. Shichiseki [七夕]) in Japan, Chilseok (칠석) in Korea, and That Tich in Vietnam. It is sometimes called Chinese Valentine's Day circa late 1990s to 2000s. Young girls traditionally demonstrate their domestic arts, especially melon carving, on this day and make wishes for a good husband. It is also known by the following names.
Mid-Autumn Festival (Chinese Moon Festival)
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, Zhongqiu Festival, or in Chinese, Zhongqiujie (traditional Chinese: 中秋節), is a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese people and Vietnamese people (even though they celebrate it differently), dating back over 3,000 years to moon worship in China's Shang Dynasty. It was first called Zhongqiu Jie (literally "Mid-Autumn Festival") in the Zhou Dynasty. In Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.
Double Nineth Festival--Elder Day
The Double Ninth Festival (Chinese: 重九; pinyin: Chóngjiǔ , also traditional Chinese: 重陽節; pinyin: Chóngyángjié or Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong, Vietnamese language: Tết Trùng Cửu), observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar, is a traditional Chinese holiday, mentioned in writing since before the East Han period (thus, before AD 25). According to the I Ching, nine is the yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival" (重陽節). To protect against the danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear the zhuyu (茱萸) plant, Cornus officinalis. (Both chrysanthemum and zhuyu are considered to have cleansing qualities and are used on other occasions to air out houses and cure illnesses.) Also on this holiday, some Chinese also visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.
Dong Zhi Festival--Winter Solstice Festival
The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣). Dōngzhì (pīnyīn) or Tōji (rōmaji) (Chinese and Japanese: 冬至; Korean: 동지; Vietnamese: Đông chí; literally: "winter's extreme") is the 22nd solar term, and marks the winter solstice. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 270° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 285°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 270°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around December 21 (December 22 East Asia time) and ends around January 5. The solstices (as well as the equinoxes) mark the middle of the seasons in East Asian calendars. Here, the Chinese character 至 means "extreme", so the term for the winter solstice directly signifies the summit of winter, a linkage absent in Western languages. In China, Dongzhi was originally celebrated as an end-of-harvest festival. Today, it is observed with a family reunion over the long night, when pink and white tangyuan are eaten in sweet broth to symbolise family unity and prosperity.
Ethnic Group Festivals
China is a large country with 55 ethnic minorities. Because of the differences in living environments, history and customs, characteristic festivals are held by the ethnic minorities besides the Spring Festival , and Mid-autumn Festival that the Han Chinese celebrate. All these traditional ethnic minority festivals are regarded as indispensable components of the minorities' customs. It is estimated that more than 1,200 of the 1,700 Chinese festivals are ethnic minorities' festivals. Each festival there is based on its own origin or legend, and a single festival can also have different origins. Some of these festivals are related to religions and beliefs, such as the Corban Festival and Kaizhai Festival, whereas others are linked to entertainment activities, such as the Nadam Fair of Mongolia and the Tibetan New Year. Some of the ethnic minority festivals are so grand and influential that they attract spectators from far away. The following are some of the representative festivals:
- Water-Splashing Festival of Dai - the most influential festival in Yunnan Province
- Torch Festival of Yi - the most ceremonious minority dance
- Knife-Pole Festival of Lisu - the most breathtaking minority festival
- Bullfight Festival of Miao - the most famous Bullfight Festival
- Adult Ceremony of Jino - the etiquette with the most national characteristics
- March Fair of Bai – the biggest merchandise trading pageant
- Nadam Fair of the Mongolian
- Kaizhai Festival
- Corban Festival