Festivals of China

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Traditional Chinese festivals are an integral part of Chinese culture. From huge nationwide celebrations marking the Spring Festival to local festivals in small villages, a plethora of festivals punctuate the year.

The largest of all the traditional festivals is Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival. The most important celebration of the year, this festival marks the beginning of the new year and spring. The festival falls on the first day of the first month of the lunar year. Festivities last two weeks and the eve of New Year is usually spent with family.

In April, the Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, takes place. This festival marks the beginning of spring and is a day when families tend to the graves of deceased family members and honour their ancestors. Graves and tombstones are cleaned and food is laid out in front of the graves and family members take turns lighting joss sticks.

April is also when the Sister's Meal Festival of the Miao people takes place in south-west China. Celebrating spring and love, young women are clad from head to toe in beautiful, ornate silver jewellery to attract their future husbands. Bull-fighting and horse-racing are common activities during this festival.

Another popular festival is the harvest festival of Mid Autumn, or the Mooncake Festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Celebrating the beauty of the moon, people eat small, round cakes made of lotus seed paste and a round egg yolk inside symbolises the harmony and beauty of the moon.

Chinese Festivals in 2013/2014
Sister's Meal Festival 201324-26 April 2013
Dragon Boat Festival 201312 June 2013
Hungry Ghost Festival 201320 August 2013
Mooncake Festival 201319 September 2013
Double Ninth Festival 201313 October 2013
Winter Solstice Festival 201321 December 2013
Chinese New Year 201431 January 2014
Lantern Festival 201414 February 2014
Qingming Festival 20135 April 2014

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