888-267-6495 ( In USA & Canada )

800-8793113 ( In China )

Chinese Festivals and Customs

China boasts splendid Chinese culture and Chinese customs and traditions of over 5000 years. When learning Chinese customs and traditions, you can’t miss traditional Chinese festivals and customs which are great reflection of Chinese folk culture.

For Chinese, Chinese festivals and customs are essential and important. But each Chinese festival contains its meaning and has its unique custom. Here GreatWallDiscovery will cover them in this article of Chinese Festivals and Customs.

Popular Traditional Chinese Festivals and Customs,Events

Among all the traditional Chinese festivals, the widely-known ones include Chinese Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Mid-autumn Festival and Dragon Boat Festival. And of the above-mentioned festivals, Chinese Spring Festival gain great popularity among foreign travelers. See the following detailed information on popular Chinese festivals and customs, festival celebration, photos and etc.

A Foreign Girl Taking a Photo with Paper-dragons with Interest, which is one of customs and traditions in China.

A Foreign Girl Taking a Photo with Paper-dragons with Interest 

1. Chinese Spring Festival

Chinese Spring Festival, also knowns as Chinese New Year, is the most important traditional Chinese festival and the longest public holiday in China. It is usually celebrated for 15 days, from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month.

Customs and Events during Chinese Spring Festival

Bainian (New Year Greeting): On the first day of the New Year or shortly thereafter, everyone wearing new clothes greets relatives and friends with Gongxi (congratulations), wishing each other good luck and happiness during the New Year.

Setting Firecrackers: Lighting Firecrackers used to be one of the most important customs in the Spring Festival celebration. Right as the clock strikes 12 o’clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve, cities and towns are lit up by the glitter from fire, with deafening sound.

Giving Lucky Money to Children: Lucky money refers to the money given to children from parents, grandparents, or others as a New Year gift. It is believed to bring good luck and ward off monsters. Money is put into red envelopes since Chinese people consider red a lucky color.

Shousui: Shousui means to stay up late or all night on New Year's Eve. After the New Year Feast, families sit together and chat happily to wait for the New Year’s arrival.

Foreign students making lanterns to welcome upcoming Lantern Festival in China.

Foreign Students Making Lanterns

2. The Lantern Festival

According to the Chinese calendar, the night of January 15th witnesses the first full moon of the New Year and marks the end of the Spring Festival. So the Lantern Festival is said to be celebrate the end of Spring Festival.

Customs and Events during the Lantern Festival

Watching Lanterns: The most important activity during the Lantern Festival is to watch various wonderful Chinese lanterns. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year. The lanterns are almost always red to symbolize good fortune.

Guessing Lantern Riddles: It is an indispensable activity to celebrate the festival and to enlighten people’s intelligence.

Eating Yuanxiao: Yuanxiao, also called Tangyuan, is a dish consisting of stuffed dumplings of glutinous rice flour stuffed with all sorts of things like sesame seeds, bean paste, sugar, walnut kernels or jujube powder. Eating Yuanxiao with family on that day is an important traditional custom, symbolizing unity and happiness within the family.

A tasty mooncake with five nuts, the most traditional and common food during Mid-autumn Festival in China.

A Tasty Mooncake with Five Nuts

3. Mid-autumn Festival

Mid-autumn Festival, also Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. It was a time to enjoy the successful reaping of rice and wheat with food offerings made in honor of the moon. But now, it is an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity.

Customs and Events during Mid-autumn Festival

Appreciating the Moon: Compared with the moon sacrificial ceremony, the custom of appreciating the moon is much more popular among modern people. The family members sit together, enjoy themselves under the silver moonlight, and eating the offerings from the ceremony.

Eating Mooncakes: Eating moon cakes while gazing at the full moon is a central part of the Mid-autumn Festival in China, and it is a symbol of family unity. At the very beginning, the mooncakes were served as a sacrifice to the Moon. Nowadays, mooncakes are given as presents to loved ones and they represent people’s wishes to be together during Mid-autumn Festival.

Dragon boat racing is the highlight and customs of Dragon Boat Festival.

Dragon Boat Racing

4. Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival, or Dunwu Festival, occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar, commemorating the death of Qu Yuan.

Customs and Events during Dragon Boat Festival

Eating Zongzi: it is an old tradition for Chinese to eat Zongzi on that day. Zongzi is a kind of pyramid-shaped mass of glutinous rice wrapped in leaves. The most outstanding representative is the Zongzi in Jiaxing of Zhejiang Province.

Dragon Boat Racing: It is a main activity and highlight of Dragon Boat Festival. A long time ago, dragon boat racing is ascribed to organized celebrations of Qu Yuan.

Hanging Calamus and Chinese Mugwort: It is an important activity in Dragon Boat Festival. Even today, Chinese families follow this to celebrate this traditional Chinese festival.

Foreigners celebrating Spring Festival in China becomes more and more common. Please join in our Chinese festival tours.

Foreigners Celebrating Spring Festival in China

Best-selling Festival Tours in China

Take a look at the highly recommended Chinese festival tour below and experience the atmosphere of a popular Chinese festival with GreatWallDiscovery.

9 Day Chinese New Year Tour to Beijing Xian Shanghai

12 Day Beijing-Xian-Guilin-Yangshuo-Hong Kong Tour

If you are very interested in Chinese festivals and customs, you might want to check whether your traveling dates coincide with a certain Chinese festival at your particular destinations. Please refer to Chinese calendar, China public holidays 2014, and best time to visit China.

In traditional Chinese festivals, Chinese customs and traditions may be seen in every celebration and events of Chinese people. Learn more for the further understand of China and your travel plan.