China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Main festivals

Qing Ming Qing Ming Festival
It is known in Western as Clear Brightness Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day. The holiday is the time for honor the ancestors at their grave sites. It usually falls in early April and corresponds with the beginning of spring plowing and of family outings.

A huge number of Chinese visits cemeteries to clean the graves of their loved ones. People hold grand respect for their ancestors and the young are educated to pray to, and for, the family spirits.
The rites are very important to the majority of Chinese, particularly for farmers. The willow is considered the symbol of light and enemy of darkness; that is why rural people carry willow branches with them on Qing Ming and put willow twigs in doorways to ward off the evil ghosts.

Qing Ming is also a time where young couples start courting, and children fly kites (especially in the windy north of China) with animal forms or with characters from the opera.

Duan Wu Duan Wu Festival
It is commonly known as Dragon Boat Festival. It falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, frequently in June. Duan Wu is a day to commemorate the Chinese patriot and poet, Qu Yuan; remind the duties and obligations to the nation; and emphasize on the significance of loyalty and commitment to the community.

Today, Dragon Boat races are celebrated in honor to Qu Yuan's mythical death. The boats, ranging in length from 45 to 120 feet long, are ornamented with multicolored pennants and with a head and a tail of a dragon.

These races are held in several places, especially in the coastal South. Local companies used to sponsor dragon boat teams. Not everybody can participate in a race, because it requires a lot of practice and precision. On the beaches is common to find picnics and festivities.

Another ancestral custom of Duan Wu Festival is eating Zongzi, a rice dumpling with a pyramidal shape wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.

Mid-Autumn Mid-Autumn Festival
It is habitually called as the Moon Festival. It falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, usually around mid- or late-September. This festival represents the reunion of the Chinese families, while the moon is at its fullest and brightest. The Chinese celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest in different ways depending of their regional customs.

This day is set aside just for one purpose: to admire the bright of the moon.

People travel to high places to make sure they have a good view of the moon. Traditionally, children and young carry lanterns with animal shapes lit by candles.

The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake (a special cake shaped like the moon), of which there are various different varieties regularly accompanied with pomelos.

The Mid-Autumn Festival along with the Chinese New Year, is a major holiday in the Chinese calendar, and is an official holiday in some China’s country neighbors.

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