Chinese Festivals

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Chinese festivals are a major element of each ancient and trendy history and culture of the country. There is a total of nine festivals they celebrate each year. However, this research paper will discuss three (3) of which are Chinese New Year, Lantern festival and dragon boat festival. The beginning of a fresh year is known as Chinese New Year, which is a pageant within the Chinese calendar. The lantern festival pageant maintains family gatherings and society conferences. Whereas, Dragon boat festival is a pageant that commemorates the death of the author Qu Yuan who submerged himself within the Miluo watercourse when the Chu State fell in 278 B.C., the races are an emblem of the tries to rescue and recover his body.

Chinese New Year

Origin and history

The Chinese New Year is the grandest Chinese celebration, which marks the beginning of a new year in the Chinese lunar Calendar. It is not a set date but usually announced by the sighting of the new moon between January 20th and February 21st. The Chinese New year is also commonly called Spring Festival as it also signifies the beginning of spring. In China, it is a SEVEN DAY NATIONAL HOLIDAY, and is celebrated for as long as FOURTEEN DAYS. The origin of the Chinese New Year is unclear but dates as far back as 2300BC in the time of Emperor Yao and Emperor Shun. From then till now the Chinese New remains a very important traditional festivity in Chinese culture.

Folklore says that the Chinese new year began a very long time ago when a mythical creature called the “Nian” that would torment the village on the darkest night of the year which happened to be the Chinese new year and eat the villagers. One day an old man in the village decided to fight back and went to the village. He put up red post cuts around the windows, wore red, and made loud noises, and lit fire. It was said that the creature feared these things and it frightened the creature and it never came back. Every year the villagers did the same thing to scare off the beast and from there forward it became a festival.

Proceeding of Festivity

Before the Chinese New Year, the family cleans out their household thoroughly. This is said to remove bad luck from the previous year and starting on a clean slate should bring forth good luck. New Year’s eve and New Year’s is considered to be the most lively days of the Chinese New Year, filled with food, fireworks, and entertainment. On the streets there will be parades, and many will see the lion or dragon dance. The main color on display would be red. There would be red lanterns, envelopes, decorations, and they even wear red clothes. New Year’s parties are now very popular in china also.

On New Year’s Eve, the family gets together for a family reunion dinner. The dinner is fully prepared, similar to thanksgiving and after the dinner dumplings are usually made. This is a Chinese tradition to break into the new year eating dumplings, which is said to bring wealth. The first day is a day to acknowledge the elders of the family. The second day is considered the beginning of the year, and this is the day married daughters go see their family. The third day is called the “red mouth”, and on this day Chinese believe visiting or being visited on this day is bad luck. On the fourth day the Chinese commemorate and invite the Gods. On the fifth is said to be the God of wealth’s birthday so the Chinese eat dumplings and detonate firecrackers. On the sixth day is Horse’s day and the Chinese are supposed to clean up their home and discard any garbage accumulated from the New Year’s festival.

Traditional Practices

Chinese usually usher in the new year by cleaning out their homes thoroughly, which is said to cleanse the home of bad spirits and bring on good fortune for the upcoming year. Cleaning starts from two weeks before the New Year and the house is decorated in red, red lanterns, and windows adorned red. Fireworks are heard echoing through the streets and bright lights are displayed everywhere. There are usually many celebrations of marching bands and dancing dragons. Loud drums are played and story tales are told surrounding the Chinese new year are told through these displays of dance and music.

Food and Family

On the Chinese New Year’s Day the family starts its day with usually a meal with dumplings, which signifies good fortune, and long noodles which signifies longevity. It is a time of much celebration so many Chinese delicacies would be made. Fish also is another popular dish around this period. The main purpose of this festival is to bring families closer together, and to usher in the new year, with a fresh start.

Lantern Festival

Origin and History

According to Li (2015) there are different beliefs about the origin of the lantern festival, one beliefs states that lighting lanterns became a tradition for Chinese people when Buddhism flourished in China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). In order to popularize Buddhism the Han Emperor Mingdi gave an order to light lanterns in the imperial palace to worship and show respect for Buddha as a form of religious worship. Lantern festival is also called Yuan Xiao Festival and it is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar. Yuan means beginning, or first and Xiao means evening or night. The lantern festival marks the end of Spring festival and it is the major festival after Chinese New Year.

Proceeding of Festivity

On this night there is a full moon which signifies family reunion, it is said that Lantern festival is also regarded as Chinese Valentine’s Day, where love and affection is celebrated amongst lovers.

Traditional Practices

The lantern festival is celebrated with the decorating of temples, business places and parks with colorful lanterns made of paper, bamboo, gauze and glass painting with legendary figures, landscapes as well as flowers and birds. With a history of over 2000 years various traditional customs and activities take place on the night. Chinese people celebrate the festival by watching the lighted lanterns and fireworks, moon gazing, guessings lantern riddles, (which usually contain messages of good fortune, family reunion, abundant harvests, prosperity, and love), gift is given to the person who answers the riddle correctly. Performing dragon dancing, lion dancing through the streets, walking on stilts and eating (Li,2015).

Food and Family

Yuaxiao also called tangyuan, is a typical Chinese dish which is made of dumpling ball made of a sticky (glutinous) rice flour mixed with various kind of fillings such as (syrup, red bean paste, black sesame paste). Yuaxiao is round in shape so it is endowed with the meaning of reunion, harmony and happiness.

According to Wong (2011) celebration of this festival is still embraced and enjoyed by people of all different ages the young and old, it is the happiest time for children to play with their companions outside the houses. Families unite and look forward for this auspicious occasion. In todays modern society displaying of red lantern can be seen lighting business places, streets and park, red symbolizes wealth and prosperity. This festival is considered the most recreational among all the Chinese festivals and is a vital part of a Chinese life. It is day for appreciating family reunion, the full moon and enjoying the traditional dish of Yuaxiao. Visitors can be seen admiring the beauty of the various types of lanterns and how it demonstrate its significance to the Chinese culture.

Dragon Boat Festival

Origin and History

The Chinese dragon boat festival also known as Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and important celebration in China that is said to be celebrated on the fifth lunar day of the fifth lunar month each year. This festival commemorates the death of the poet Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the Miluo River when the Chu State fell in 278 BC.

According to Custer (2019), Qu Yuan was born into a decision family and served in high work environments. He was the fundamental advisor of the Kingdom of Chu, and submitted for as far back as he can recollect to helping the ruler to assemble the State of Chu, to become more grounded. He was later banished by the lord after he advised him to align with the province of Qi, one of the seven warring states, to battle against the most dominant territory of Qin. In any case, later down he was blamed for conspiracy and was rejected and ousted by the King himself.

In 278 BC, the Qin State vanquished the capital of Chu. On becoming aware of the destruction that was occurring at the time, Qu Yuan in incredible sadness ended his life by drowning himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. At the point when the townspeople knew about Qu Yuan’s passing, it was said that they paddled their boats all over the stream thumping drums and their paddles against the water to frighten off abhorrence spirits. Local people additionally tossed pieces of rice into the stream for the fishes so they won’t devour his body.

Proceedings to festivity

The dragon boat race festivals originally began in southern China, where the fifth lunar day of the fifth lunar month was chosen as a totem service. The dragon was the primary image on the totem, because the Chinese accepted that they are children of the creature. Later the Chinese associated this function with the Duanwu Festival. This celebration action is just held in southern China, where it has fluctuating degrees of prevalence, however, it is recognised around the world as they are dragon boat festivals, for example in Trinidad and Tobago it is celebrated every year.

Food and Family

According to Custer (2019), Zongzi is originally the most famous food to be eaten for the celebration. It is an exceptional sort of dumpling typically made of glutinous rice enclosed by bamboo leaves. Tragically, crisp bamboo leaves are elusive. Today you may see Zongzi in various shapes and with an assortment of fillings. The most prevalent shapes are triangular and pyramidal. The fillings incorporate dates, meat and egg yolks, however the most well-known fillings are dates. During the celebration, individuals are helped to remember the significance of reliability and responsibility to the network.

In conclusion, Chinese New Year, lantern festival and dragon boast festivals have excellent effects on the whole community because of its togetherness. From past till now it contributes to the tradition of family reunion. This strengthens family members with communication and relationships. Advance technology is of high use in society today which causes a reduced in face to face contact among each other. However, these three festivals help in the breakin of barrier and gather individuals in the same union. I will strongly recommend partaking in any one of these festivals because it promotes betterment in relationships and communication. A result of this will contribute to peace in society. Peace in society will only bring unity and unity is what we pray for.


Cite this paper

Chinese Festivals. (2020, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/chinese-festivals/



What are popular festivals of China?
The most popular festivals in China include the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival. These celebrations are deeply rooted in Chinese culture and are celebrated with traditional food, music, and activities.
What are the 3 major holidays in China?
The three major holidays in China are Chinese New Year, Qingming Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival.
What are the top 5 Chinese traditional festivals?
The top 5 Chinese traditional festivals are the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
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