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Traditional Chinese Festivals

These traditional festivals will really introduce you to life in China. There are annual events like Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, the Qingming (Tomb Sweeping) Festival, Double Seven Festival, and the Winter Solstice.

The festivals introduced here have been selected for their traditional Chinese nature. Often the dates will vary from year to year because they are celebrated according to the Chinese calendar. See below for this year’s dates. You may need to inquire for dates in the following year.

Traditional Festivals and Events List

Chinese New Year 2017 — Traditions, Activities, Day-By-Day Guide

Jan. 27 to Feb. 11

Chinese New Year (within 15 days of February 5) is also called Spring Festival. It is the most important festival to Chinese people. Many activities are held to celebrate the festival, such as dragon dances, setting off firecrackers, making dumplings, etc.

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Dragon Boat Festival 2017/2018

The most popular and representative activity of Dragon Boat Festival is dragon boat racing. Dragon Boat Festival falls on month 5 day 5 of the Chinese lunar calendar (around mid-June). During this traditional festival in China, people customarily eat rice dumplings.

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China's Lantern Festival — Traditions, Activities

Mar. 5 

The Lantern Festival is traditionally the last day of the Chinese New Year period (within 15 days of February 20). It became a festival about 2,000 years ago. During the Lantern Festival, thousands of millions of festive lanterns strengthen the enchanting atmosphere of the festival in China.

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Qingming Festival

Apr. 3 to Apr. 5

Qingming Festival (around April 4) is Chinese people’s day for visiting graves and burial grounds to pray their respects to their ancestors. It’s known as Tomb Sweeping Festival in English. Many Chinese also go for a picnic during Qingming Festival to enjoy the picturesque scenery of spring.

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Double Seventh Day — How to Celebrate China's Valentine’s Day

Aug. 9 

Double Seventh Day falls on the 7th day of the 7th month of China’s lunar calendar (around mid-August); that’s why it is called Double Seventh Day. Known as China’s Valentine’s Day, it is a festival that has legendary links with romance and love in China.

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The 24 solar terms

The 24 solar terms were first named by farmers in ancient China to help to guide agricultural affairs and farming activities. It is a system that marks the changes in seasons, weather, and nature by splitting a year into 24 equal periods of time.

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Winter Solstice

Dec. 22 

Chinese celebrate the Winter Solstice on the 23rd day of the 11th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. On the Gregorian calendar that’s within about two weeks of December 21st. In northern China, it is a custom for local people to eat dumplings with their family at the Winter Solstice.

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The Double Ninth Festival

Oct. 9 

The Double Ninth Festival is also named Chongyang Festival. It is held on the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese lunar calendar (around mid-October). During the festival, enjoying chrysanthemums and climbing mountains are both popular activities in China.

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Hungry Ghost Festival

Aug. 17 

In China, special customs for memorizing the dead are held on Qingming Festival and Hungry Ghost Festival. Hungry Ghost Festival is the most important festival in month seven of the lunar calendar for Chinese people. The date, lunar month 7 day 15, is around late August.

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