Beijing, the capital of China, is also the cultural center of China. What makes Beijing unique compare to its neighboring Asian countries is that they have a calendar of festivals and holidays throughout the year. Most of Chinese festivals are scheduled based on the lunar calendar. Hence, dates will differ from year to year. For tourists who would like to experience the Chinese festivals, we got your back.
Below are some of the highlighted and most celebrated festivals throughout the Land of the Red Dragon:
Chinese New Year
Also known as the Spring Festival by the Chinese, is the most important festival in Beijing. It signals the first day if the first month in the lunar calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th. Because of its significance to the Chinese, temples host fairs and most businesses close for at least several days. During the festivity, the Dragon Dance and Lion Dance are traditionally performed.
On the last day of the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival will be held. This is the time where Chinese will see the full moon for the first time in the new year. It is traditionally a time for family reunion. Moreover, the displaying of lanterns is a big event on this day. Another important part of the festival is by eating small dumpling balls made of rice flour.
During April, every Chinese family pay their respects to their deceased ancestors and to clean and decorate their grave sites. This is the Chinese version of All Souls Day. Kites are seen being flown in the sky during this day and symbolic money being burned. It is because they believed it will help their ancestors in the afterlife.
Duan Wu Jie (Dragon Boat Festival)
This festivity falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Dragon boat races are the most popular activity during the festival, especially in Southern China. Additionally, a traditional part of the celebration is eating zongzi, which are triangular, glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in banana or other leaves.
Meet in Beijing Arts Festival
This is a month-long festival that showcases dance, theater and music performances. Other than that, it also features art exhibitions from Chinese and international performers as well. Events usually takes place at various locations in Beijing in April and/or May.
The 1st of October is the National Day of People’s Republic of China that first started in 1949. This is where parades and firework shows take place throughout Beijing.
Also known as the Moon Festival, celebrates the end of the autumn harvest takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. Dances, lighting lanterns and eating “moon cakes” are traditional activities along with the main activity: moon watching.