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Chinese Culture & Traditions

China has a long history and rich cultural traditions. Browse through the history of Chinese Festivals and Holidays here to gain more knowledge of Chinese culture!

Spring Festival (Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year)

Kids Playing Lantern Chinese Lantern Spring Festival (Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year) is on the first day of the first lunar month. It is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. The celebration normally starts on the Chinese New Year's eve and ends on the 15th of the first lunar month (the Lantern Festival). 2009 is the Year of the Ox, it is on January 26, 2009.

You can find more about how Chinese people celerate Chinese New Year.

Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival)

Dragon Boat Zongzi Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) is on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. It is one of the largest traditional festivals in China. The exact origins of Duanwu are unclear. The best known story centers on a patriotic court official named Qu Yuan, of the State of Chu during the Warring States Period more than 2,000 years ago. Qu tried to warn the emperor of an increasingly corrupted government, but failed. On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, he drowned himself in the Milo River, because he was hopeless about his country's future.

Each year, during the Duanwu Festival, the day of Qu Yuan's death, people race dragon boats to commemorate him. This is believed to be a representation of how the people of Chu tried, at the time, to recover Qu Yuan's body from the Milo River. Pyramid-shaped rice dumplings by the name of Zongzi were thrown in the river to feed the fish, so they would stay away from Qu Yuan's body.

This year's Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) falls on May 28, 2009.

Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival)

Home Moon Moon Cakes Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival) is on the 15th day of eighth lunar month. At this time, the moon is at its fullest and brightest, marking an ideal time to celebrate the abundance of the summer's harvest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties. The Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese.

The Moon Festival is full of legendary stories. Legend says that the Lady Chang Er flew to the moon (around 2170 B.C.), where she has lived ever since. You might see her dancing on the moon during the Moon Festival. The Moon Festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems.

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival) falls on October 3, 2009.

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