China has one of the greatest number and variety of tourist attractions around the world. The country’s tourist appeal is highlighted by being culturally different from countries outside of East Asia. But only visiting the attractions wouldn’t give you the real feel of the wholesome Chinese culture and would leave your trip incomplete. Chinese people celebrate a seemingly endless series of festivals throughout the year. Here is a list of festivals that you should celebrate if you visit to China on a particular time of the year:
1. Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
The Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in the capital city of Heilongjiang, Harbin. It is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. At first the participants used to be mainly Chinese but now it has become an international festival and competition. What sets the festival apart is the scale and size of the sculptures. The beautiful lighting effects on the sculptures are computer controlled LEDs for stunning displays of color and design.
2. Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn or the Moon Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by Chinese. On the festival day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the full bright moon, eat moon cakes and express strong wishes toward loved ones who live afar. Although people prefer to celebrate at home, but you’ll also find people celebrate at ancient man-made sites, natural scenic areas and countryside.
3. The Lantern Festival
The Lantern or the Spring Lantern Festival is a festival that marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. It is also the first full moon night in the Chinese calendar, marking the return of spring, which symbolizes the reunion of family. The festival is of great significance. The activities include lighting and floating lanterns, appreciating the full moon, setting off fireworks, solving riddles on lanterns, and eating tangyuan. The lion dance is an excellent traditional art that adds more fun to the festival. According to the ancient customs, the lion is a symbol of strength, so by performing this dance, everyone prays for a happy life.
4. Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu Festival, is a traditional holiday to commemorate Qu Yuan, an ancient Chinese patriotic poet. Many traditional customs and activities are held on this day by people in China and even in neighboring countries, and eating zongzi (rice wrapped by bamboo or reed leaves) and dragon boat racing are the central customs. In some regions, people also wear a perfume pouch, tie five-color silk threads and hang calamus.
5. Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is China’s most important traditional festival. The reasons for the festival are to celebrate a year of hard work, and relaxing with family, and to wish for a prosperous coming year. The citizens celebrate with reuniting with their families and having dinner, giving gifts, setting off firecrackers, and decorating buildings and streets. Traditional performances can be seen in temples. Eating fish is also believed to bringing a surplus of good luck for the next year.
6. Qingdao Beer Festival
Qingdao is the largest beer production base in China and the festival provides the city a great opportunity to flaunt its unique characteristic. The Qingdao Beer Festival has become a major event in the calendar of the city. The festivals feature artistic parades, ‘Beer Carnival’ games, drinking contests, beer tasting, music, gala performances, carnival amusement park games and rides.