The People’s Republic of China holds a reputation for its strict policies and no nonsense attitude portrayed by its government towards the people. Chinese bureaucrats have a name for being powerful and ruthless. While dealing with the diplomats of other countries, while this attitude certainly led to some major advantages, out of which the most important being that no country now dares to take China lightly.However, the disadvantage is that not only the diplomats but even common people are considered to be dominating in nature, which is far from the truth, because the commoners are just like every other citizens of any country. Therefore the visitors are pleasantly surprised with the warm nature of Chinese
It is a famous proverb “All Work And No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy”. This age old adage holds completely true over the developed and developing countries alike and here comes the importance of entertainment, which in our case is festivals. Festivals are a refreshing change from the monotonous drudgery of life, and hence holds a great importance in everyone’s life. Not only, they give you time to relax but also allow you to indulge in your whims and fancies with your near and dear ones, which helps in strengthening family ties and building up of a congenial atmosphere in and out side home.
China is the world’s most populated country, and is the second largest by land area. Such vast population is bound to be diverse which accounts for a large number of national and regional Chinese festivals, but both are celebrated with equal fervor. All Chinese festivals are colorful and grand in nature and witness the coming of huge sections of people together to celebrate with one spirit.
The Chinese have a great fascination with moon and they believe that full moon is the symbol of of prosperity and peace. It also symbolizes wholesomeness and togetherness.Hence, most of their festivals are based on lunar calender, and therefore no fixed dates for them. This does not dampen the spirits of people even a bit and they celebrate all their festivals with great pomp and show.
If you are planning a trip to China soon, or even otherwise, we say take a look at their top ten grandest, most colorful and hugely popular festivals, which would set you in a festive mood too. So, here we go..
10. Chinese Labor Day
It is an international festival, and is commonly held on May 1= May 3 in China every year.
This holiday came into existence first in Canada because of labor troubles, which resulted in legalizing Trade Unions as the Trade Union Act was passed in the 1870s, in order to mark this day’s achievement, since then traders celebrated that day as their victory, an American leader Peter J. Mcguire who witnessed the celebrationmade efforts to celebrate that day as labor’s day in America, and that saw the first labor day celebration in American history.
China in order to pay a sort of tribute to the International Labor Day designated May 1 as Chinese Labor Day. On this day in China model laborers are awarded in lieu of their work which inspire other laborers as well to put in more effort in their work.
9. Qixi Festival
How could such a vast population not have a day to celebrate the most universal human emotion, that of love. Qixi Festival is China’s rendition of Valentine’s Day.
It falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, on the lunar calender.This day, as the legend has it came into existence to commemorate the love story of a Chinese couple by the name of Niu Lang and Zhi Nv, who could never be together because of their family’s resistance . People believe Niu Lang was an ordinary commoner in love with the beautiful Zhi Nv whose abode was in heaven, and on the seventh night of the seventh moon, birds form a bridge with their wings for Zhi Nv to cross and meet her earthly lover.
Our take- Wish Shakespeare knew of it, then we could have have the eternal love story of Zhi Nv and Niu Lang and nobody would know of Romeo and Juliet!
8. Chongyang Festival
The Chinese are ancient race and every primitive civilization worshiped nature and this has been passed on from generation to generation.
The festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calender, due to the presence of double nine in it,this festival is also known as ‘Double Ninth Festival’. According to Chinese myths, nine is the young number(yang is a traditional Chinese spiritual concept ). Since the date has double nine, it has too much yang which can prove to be dangerous. Hence, to purge themselves of all the harms Chinese believe it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine (chrysanthemum have cleansing properties, which leads to the purification of mind, body and soul), appreciate the beauty of nature. Also, some Chinese visit the graves of their kin to mark this day, in order to absolve them of their sins.
7. Yuan Xiao Festival
This is perhaps the most beautiful Chinese festival among all. For on the night of this festival,the sky is decked with colorful lanterns of all shapes and sizes which dazzles every onlooker.
This festival usually falls on the fifteenth day of the first month of Chinese lunar calender, and marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities.The festival calls for the customary eating of rice dumplings which are soft and sweet in nature. The lanterns have a significance in Chinese mythology that lanterns are the past selves of the individuals and letting a lantern chart its own course in the sky,gives us the message that until and unless humans let go of their past, they can never achieve their highest goals.
6. Yuan – dan Festival
The literal meaning of ‘Yuan- Dan’ is the beginning of the new dawn which is apt for it is in sync with the international New Year’s day. Just like all around the world, Chinese celebrate yuan- dan in an extravagant manner. It is celebrated every year on 1st of January.
It is a public holiday and parties are held all over the country. People meet their kin and exchange gifts and the whole atmosphere is jubilant and cheery.
5. Qingming Festival
It is also known as tomb sweeping day in China and falls around April 5 according to Chinese calender each year. It is a festival of remembering the deceased to pay respects to them. The ancient belief being that on this day the ancestors come to earth to look after the well being of their kin.
On each Qingming Festival, all cemeteries are crowded with people who come to sweep the tombs of their deceased and ancestors. It is the day of sacrifices and sees a combination of happiness and sadness, because the people remember their loved ones, and miss their presence in their lives.
4. National Day of China
It is one of the national festivals of China and is celebrated every year on October 1, with a great patriotic fervor and zeal. This day marks the celebration of one’s motherland and an individual’s love for his country. Several functions take place on this day. All the politicians and other dignitaries of all the provinces of China take part in flag hoisting ceremonies.
On this day people take part in government organized functions such as fireworks and concerts,.This day is dedicated to the People’s Republic Of China and people all around the country celebrate it with great national pride and patriotism.
3. Duanwu Festival
It is also known as dragon boat festival, and falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of Chinese calender. The festival has a history of more than 2000 years. Also the Chinese hold the mythical dragon in high regard from where the festival derives its name.
Three of the most common activities to mark this day are, eating Zongzi, which are rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves, drinking real-gar wine, and racing dragon boats. This day revels in fun filled activities for the young and old alike.
2. Mid autumn Festival
This is the second most important festival in Chinese calender and hence is at our number two position.
According to the lunar calender, August 15 of the eight lunar month is traditionally mid autumn. According to the ancient beliefs mid autumn festival symbolizes harvest and family reunions, and people from all around the world make it a point to be at home and enjoy a meal with family on this day.
It is an occasion meant to be spent with family members where whole family can enjoy full moon (auspicious symbol of harmony and luck). Special moon cakes are made on this occasion without which this festival could not be completed.
1.Chinese Spring Festival
This festival is also known as lunar New Year and hence is the first day of the Chinese new year. It is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people and therefore truly deserves our number one position.
This festival has a history of more than 4000 years On this day people visits their kin, relatives and friends to wish them a prosperous new year ahead. New clothes are worn which signify a new year. The color Red which the Chinese consider Auspicious is liberally used in decorations, moreover gifts packed in red are given to children and juniors by the elders and married, since the Chinese believe that red color is the harbinger of good luck, great finances and energy in one’s life
Now you know of the fun side of Chinese people!