As a country that is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, China unsurprisingly boasts rich history. Many celebrations and traditions have survived over thousands of years through many generations, and include an array of ancient customs. Chinese festivals are certainly one of the most vibrant and memorable ways to indulge in local customs.
Chinese New Year is not only one of the most important celebrations in China, but in many surrounding countries in Asia. The event is celebrated with elaborate parades, colourful firecrackers, decorative peach blossoms and lots of red! Arguably, Beijing holds the biggest celebrations but you can celebrate Chinese New Year in any of the major cities.
Qingming Festival, or tomb sweeping day, is a 2,500-year-old popular holiday for ancestral worship. Across the entire country, locals tidy the tombs of their ancestors, make food offerings and light firecrackers as symbols of respect for the deceased.
Dragon Boat Festival is a vibrant festival celebrated in southern China. This is an exciting holiday when dragon boats race across the water, as the teams pull their oars as quick as they can to the thump of a beating drum.
Chinese New Year is celebrated around late January and early February, from the lunar New Years’ Eve until the Lantern festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month. Qingming Festival celebrated annually around April 5th and Dragon Boat Festival is usually celebrated in June.
As the festivals and celebrations in China follow the lunar calendar, the dates will fluctuate on the Gregorian (Western) calendar. Make sure to find out the correct date for the year that you’re visiting!
Also, be wary that public transport, and even taxis, are sparse due to many locals leaving the cities to stay in their hometowns.