Traditional Chinese holidays

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The traditional Chinese holidays are an essential part of harvests or prayer offerings. The most important Chinese holiday is the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), which is also celebrated in Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. All traditional holidays are scheduled according to the Chinese calendar (except the Qing Ming and Winter Solstice days, falling on the respective Jie qi in the Agricultural calendar).

Date (Chinese Lunar Calendar)English NameChinese NameRemarks
Last day of lunar yearChinese New Year Eve • 除夕
 • 大年夜
1st day of 1st Month(Spring Festival) • 農曆新年 / 农历新年
 • 春節 / 春节
 • 大年初一
fireworks after midnight, visit family members.
15th day of 1st MonthLantern Festival • 元宵節 / 元宵节
 • 小年
Lantern parade and lion dance celebrating the first full moon. Eating tangyuan. This day is also the last day of new year celebration.
2nd day of 2nd MonthZhonghe Festival (Blue Dragon Festival) • 中和節 / 中和节
 • 青龍節 / 青龙节
Eat Chinese pancakes (Chun bing, 春餅) and noodles, clean the house. Also known as Dragon Raising its Head
3rd day of 3rd MonthShangsi Festival上巳節 / 上巳节Traditional Chinese Women's Day, also known as 婦女節(fùnǚjié)
At the Qingming solar term, solar longitude of 15°, 104 days after winter solstice (around 5 April)Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Clear and Bright Festival)清明節 / 清明节Visit, clean, and make offerings at ancestral gravesites, spring outing
5th day of 5th MonthDuanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival)端午節 / 端午节Dragon boat race, eat dumplings wrapped in lotus leaves Zongzi. This festival commemorates the ancient poet Qu Yuan; drink yellow rice wine, related to the White Snake Lady legend
7th day of 7th MonthQixi Festival (The Night of Sevens, Magpie Festival)七夕According to legend, the goddess "Zhi Nü" (the star Vega) fell in love with the farmer boy "Niu Lang" (the star Altair), but was disapproved by her mother goddess. As punishment, they were separated by the Milky Way and could only meet once a year on this night.
15th day of 7th MonthGhost Festival中元節 / 中元节Burn fake paper money and make offerings to ancestors and the dead to comfort them in the afterlife and keep them from troubling the living.
15th day of 8th monthMid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival)中秋節 / 中秋节Eat mooncake, family union meal, related to the legend of Chang E and The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd
9th day of 9th MonthDouble Ninth Festival (Chongyang Festival)重陽節 / 重阳节Autumn outing and mountain climbing, some Chinese also visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.
15th of 10th MonthSpirit Festival / Water Lantern Festival下元節 / 下元节Set flower shaped lanterns adrift in a stream or river at sundown, give offerings to deceased whose wandering spirits/ghosts may return at night to visit.
December 21st or 22ndDongzhi Festival (Winter Solstice Festival)冬至Have Tangyuan and Jiuniang and perform ancestor worship, Feast day, family gatherings, also named "Chinese Thanksgiving"
8th Day of 12 MonthLaba Festival臘八節 / 腊八节This is the day the Buddha attained enlightenment. People usually eat Laba congee, which is made of mixed grains and fruits.

Dates for Chinese Traditional Festivals (2008-2015)[edit]

Spring (New Year)LanternAzure DragonShang­siQing MingDragon BoatDouble Seventh Ghost Mid-​AutumnDouble NinthWater Lan­ternWinter  Laba  
2008Feb 7Feb 21Mar 9Apr 8Apr 4Jun 9Aug 7Aug 15Sep 14Oct 7Nov 12Dec 4Jan 3*
2009Jan 26Feb 9Feb 26Mar 29Apr 4May 28Aug 26Sep 3Oct 3Oct 26Dec 1Dec 22Jan 22*
2010Feb 14Feb 28Mar 17Apr 16Apr 5Jun 16Aug 16Aug 24Sep 22Oct 16Nov 20Dec 12Jan 11*
2011Feb 3Feb 17Mar 6Apr 5Apr 5Jun 6Aug 6Aug 14Sep 12Oct 5Nov 10Dec 1Jan 1*
2012Jan 23Feb 6Feb 23Mar 24Apr 4Jun 23Aug 23Aug 31Sep 30Oct 23Nov 28Dec 21Jan 19*
2013Feb 10Feb 24Mar 13Apr 12Apr 4Jun 12Aug 13Aug 21Sep 19Oct 13Nov 17Dec 9Jan 8*
2014Jan 31Feb 14Mar 2Apr 2Apr 5Jun 2Aug 2Aug 10Sep 8Oct 2Dec 6Dec 28Jan 27*
2015Feb 19Mar 5Mar 21Apr 21Apr 5Jun 20Aug 20Aug 28Sep 27Oct 21Nov 26Dec 17Jan 17*
* denotes the following Gregorian civil year[1]

Public holidays[edit]

Traditional holidays are generally celebrated in Chinese speaking regions. For the most part, however, only Chinese New Year, Qingming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival are statutory public holidays. This is the case in both mainland China and Taiwan, whilst Hong Kong and Macau also observe Buddha's Birthday and Chung Yeung Festival. In Singapore, [1] is the only traditional Chinese public holiday likewise with Malaysia

Each region has its own holidays on top of this condensed traditional Chinese set. Mainland China and Taiwan observe patriotic holidays, Hong Kong and Macau observe Christian holidays, while Malaysia and Singapore celebrate Malay and Indian festivals.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dates in table (with exception of Qing Ming) converted to Gregorian civil calendar using the Calendrical Calculations applet, 2010-01-05.

External links[edit]