Chinese festivals mainly refer to the memorial days, celebration days and international festivals recognized by China. There are the 7 most important holidays in China:
New Year’s Day, 1 day off (January 1);
Spring Festival, 3 days off (1st, 2nd and 3rd day of the first lunar month);
Qingming Day, 1 day off (generally one day between April 4 and 6);
International Workers’ Day, 1 day off (May 1);
Dragon Boat Festival, 1 day off (5th day of the 5th lunar month);
Mid-Autumn Festival, 1 day off (15th day of the 8th lunar calendar);
National Day of the People’s Republic of China, 3 days off (October 1, 2, and 3).
Statutory holidays in China: Chinese calendar
Chinese people usually use two calendars, namely, the Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar. The time difference between the Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar is about one month.
The lunar calendar is one of the traditional Chinese calendars. It should not be strictly called the lunar calendar, because it is a combination of Yin and Yang. When Chinese people use the lunar calendar, they usually say “one day of one lunar month” to distinguish it from the day of the Gregorian calendar. Most of the traditional festivals in China are celebrated according to the date of the lunar calendar. For example, the Spring Festival in China is “1st of the 1st lunar month,” but the time in the Gregorian calendar is not uniform.
The Gregorian calendar is the world’s common Gregorian calendar. Chinese non-traditional festivals are generally celebrated according to the date of the Gregorian calendar.
The following is the introduction to the 7 most important holidays in China.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day, January 1st of the Gregorian calendar, is New Year in most countries of the world. In 1949, the People’s Republic of China designated January 1 as New Year’s Day.
Nowadays, the custom of New Year’s Day is mainly to organize people to come together, such as schools and companies holding a New Year’s party, having a New Year’s Day dinner and organizing other collective activities. In many areas, there is also the custom of eating eggs.
Spring Festival Statutory holidays in China
Spring Festival is the most essential in the 7 most important holidays in China and the most solemn festival of the Chinese nation. It is China’s four major traditional festivals together with Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-autumn Festival.
During the Spring Festival, there are various activities all over the country, with rich regional characteristics and a lively and festive atmosphere. These activities are mainly composed of greeting the new and receiving blessings, worshiping the gods and ancestors and praying for a good year, which is rich in forms and gathers the essence of traditional Chinese culture.
It is a traditional festival of sacrifice, also called Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day. Qingming Festival is rich in customs. Tomb-sweeping and ancestor worshiping and outing are two major customs themes of the Qingming Festival. They are not only conducive to promoting filial piety and family affection, awakening the common memory of the family, but also to promoting the cohesion and identity of family members and even the nation.
International Workers’ Day
International Labor Day is a national holiday in more than 80 countries in the world. It is a festival shared by working people all over the world. On this day, people change into festival costumes, participate in various celebration gatherings or recreational activities in high spirits, and commend the workers who have made outstanding contributions.
Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival is one of the ancient traditional festivals of the Chinese nation. There are many theories about the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival, such as the theory of commemorating Qu Yuan; the theory of commemorating Wu Zixu and so on. There are different customs in different places. Its contents mainly include: eating zongzi (pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves), dragon boat regatta, hanging calamus and the image of Kui Zhong, wearing sachet, preparing animal lilies, drinking realgar wine, etc.
Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the reunion festival, is a traditional Chinese Folk Festival, which is held on August 15th of the lunar calendar. The Mid-Autumn Festival originated from the worship of celestial phenomena and evolved from the worship of the moon on an autumn eve in ancient times. Since ancient times, the Mid-Autumn Festival has many folk customs. People would offer sacrifices to the moon, appreciate the moon, eat moon cakes. They would also play with lanterns, appreciate osmanthus, and drink osmanthus wine.
National Day of the People’s Republic of China
The Central People’s Government has announced that since 1950, October 1st of each year will be the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.
Every national day in China, all kinds of units and companies will hang lanterns or banners; in the square, there are bonsai and balloons with slogans to welcome the national day with a happy atmosphere. Every year on National Day, Beijing holds a grand flag-raising ceremony and military parade. At 6:10 a.m. on National Day, more than 100000 people from all over the country go to Beijing to watch the flag-raising ceremony.