holidays in China are New Year (January 1st), a national one-day
holiday; Spring Festival (New Year by the lunar calendar), a national
three-day holiday; International Working Women’s Day (March 8th);
Tree Planting Day (March 12th); International Labor Day (May 1st),
a national one-day holiday; Chinese Youth Festival (May 4th); International
Children’s Day (June 1st); Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) (August 1st); Teacher’s Day (September
10th); and National Day (October 1st), a national two-day holiday.
major traditional festivals include the Spring Festival, the Lantern
Festival, Pure Brightness Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-Autumn
Festival and the Double Ninth Festival. Ethnic minorities have also
retained their own traditional festivals, including the Water Sprinkling
Festival of the Dai people, the Nadam Fair of the Mongolian people,
the Torch Festival of the Yi people, the Danu (Never Forget the
Past) Festival of the Yao people, the Third Month Fair of the Bai
people, the Antiphonal Singing Day of the Zhuang people, the Tibetan
New Year and Onghor (Expecting a Good Harvest) Festival of the Tibetan
people, and the Jumping Flower Festival of the Miao people.
Festival Each year,
when winter is at its end and spring around the corner, people throughout
China enthusiastically celebrate the first traditional holiday of
the year, the Spring Festival. In the past, when the Chinese people
used the lunar calendar, the Spring Festival was known as the “New
Year.” It falls on the first day of the first lunar month, the beginning
of a new year. After
the Revolution of 1911, China adopted the Gregorian calendar. To
distinguish the lunar New Year from the New Year by the Gregorian
calendar, the lunar New Year was called the Spring Festival (which
generally falls between the last 10-day period of January and mid-February).
The evening before the Spring Festival, the lunar New Year’s Eve,
is an important time for family reunions. The whole family gets
together for a sumptuous dinner, followed by an evening of pleasant
talk or games. Some families stay up all night, “seeing the year
out.” The next morning, people pay New Year calls on relatives and
friends, wishing each other good luck. During the Spring Festival,
various traditional recreational activities are enjoyed in many
parts of China, notably lion dances, dragon lantern dances, land-boat
rowing and stilt-walking.
Festival The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the first lunar
month, the night of the first full moon after the Spring Festival.
Traditionally, people eat sweet dumplings during this festival.
Sweet dumplings, round balls of glutinous rice flour with sugar
filling, symbolize reunion. During the festival people display multicolored
lanterns on the streets and courtyards, and stroll around admiring
them at night, hence the name “Lantern Festival.” Some places also
hold evening parties for people to guess riddles written on lanterns.
Brightness Day Pure Brightness Day falls around April 5th every year.
Traditionally, this is an occasion for people to offer sacrifices
to their ancestors. In recent years, many people have also been
going to the tombs of the revolutionary martyrs to pay their respects.
At this time of year the weather has begun to turn warm, and the
earth is once again covered with green. People love to go to the
outskirts of cities to walk on the grass, fly kites and appreciate
the beauty of spring. That is why Pure Brightness Day is sometimes
also called “Walking amid Greenery Day.”