China is a country with many ethnic groups and a rich cultural heritage. Of all the traditional festivals, perhaps the most popular ones are the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-autumn Festival.
Public Holidays 2019
◆1 Jan New Year
◆5th - 10th February Spring Festival, Chinese New Year- also known as the Lunar New Year, which takes place in late January or early February. The historical reason for beginning the year during cold weather is that it is the time between the “autumn harvest and winter storage” and “spring plowing and summer weeding.” In other words, this is the time for rest and relaxation after a year’s toil, and for celebration as well.
◆15-16 Lunar January The Lantern Festival- the fifteenth day of the first lunar month when various types of lanterns are exhibited. Lanterns are in different shapes and colors. They are made of paper, gauze, silk or plastic in the shapes of fish, frogs, horses, rabbits, roses, lotus flowers, or even gods. Each year’s lantern exhibition takes one animal as the theme, the animal which is designated by the Chinese lunar calendar for the year.
◆1-3 May Labour Day
◆5-7 Lunar May The Dragon Boat Festival- or the Duanwu Festival, falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. This Festival is widely accepted as a day to commemorate Qu Yuan, China’s greatest poet of the Warring States Period(475B.C. ～221B.C.). People respected Qu Yuan for his efforts to make State of Chu strong and prosperous and for his dedication to such ideals. However, he became frustrated with the status quo and ultimately committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo river. On the day of Qu Yuan’s death, people rushed from all over, rowing boats on the river in an attempt to find his remains, which were thought to have drifted downstream, never to be recovered. But people never give up their hope. This time every year, rowing a fast stroke, they wanted to be the first one to find him. As the result, boat-racing has become very popular along the waterways in many southern and eastern cities and towns.
◆The Mid-autumn Festival- falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month because the eighth lunar month is mid-autumn and the fifteenth is middle of that month. On that night the moon is supposed to be brighter and fuller than any other night. In China, a full moon is symbolic of family reunion, which is why that day is also known as the “Day of Reunion.”
◆1- 7 Oct National Day
In addition to the above, other holidays may be observed locally and certain groups have official Public Holidays on the following dates:
◆8 Mar International Women’s Day.
◆4 May National Youth Day.
◆23 May Tibet Liberation Day.
◆1 Jun International Children’s Day.
◆1 Aug Army Day.
China has many events and festivals throughout the year. To view them all visit:www.chinesefestivals.com
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