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China to Revive Traditional Festivals to Boost Traditional Culture

Christmas has been a fad among the Chinese youngsters and Valentine's Day is especially popular for Chinese lovers, both young and old. But the Chinese Valentine's Day which falls on July 7 of the Lunar Calendar is no longer celebrated in the country.

To boost China's unique traditional culture, the departments of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the central government are taking measures to revive the country's fading traditional festivals, which have thousands of years of history behind them.

"Festivities of the most important days, such as the traditional Spring Festival (or Chinese Lunar New Year), Tomb-sweeping Day in memorial of the dear-departed, the Dragon-boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Double Ninth Festival in reverence to seniors, should be especially well-organized," said a joint circular by the Party and government departments.

The circular was issued Friday by the Central Publicity Department of the CPC, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.

The traditional festivals, which embody the unique spirit and affections and feelings of the Chinese nation and reflect Chinese civilization, are an important factor for the promotion of national unity, solidarity among the people of different ethnicities and social harmony, the document said.

"At a time of cultural globalization in the world, the revival of traditional festivals will help boost Chinese traditional culture, easy and friendly personal relations and harmonious social environment, and will help build cohesive affinity among the Chinese nation promoting reunification across the Taiwan Straits.

The circular also calls for the innovation of festival celebrations to accommodate the faster pace of social life. It even encourages the "interaction between festival celebrations and the business sector" in order to attract more involvement by the younger generation.

The Party and government decree has been a response to public outcries that many traditional holidays have been ignored by the younger generation, who have developed a penchant for western holidays.

Two lawmakers, Huo Fuhua and Chen Xuexi, both Guangdong-based deputies to the 10th National People's Congress, even proposed earlier this year that China should consider more public holidays on these occasions.

Huo told Xinhua that the people in China should be given at least one day off on some vital occasions that have been cherished since ancient times, for instance the Dragon-Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Tomb-Sweeping Day and the Double Ninth Festival.

"Most of these holidays are honored and widely celebrated in Hong Kong and Taiwan to carry forward ancient culture and traditions," Huo said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 25, 2005)

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