Chinese Festival

With its long history of over 5000 years, China boasts a profound culture with rich and diverse traditional festivals, which are formed after a long-term process of historical and cultural sediment. Developed from remote antiquity, the splendid and colorful living context of that time is vividly presented in these unique and interesting customs of circulated festivals. Most traditional Chinese festivals took shape during Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and major festivals greatly celebrated today were fixed by the time of Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.). Chinese traditional festivals are celebrated according to the Chinese lunar calendar or Chinese agriculture calendar (Chinese:农历); Therefore, dates of each festival are varied in western calendar every year. But all festivals make no difference to be celebrated for good wishes for happiness, health, luck, wealth and most important, family reunion.

Important Festivals for Chinese

About eight traditional festivals are celebrated nationwide in China, namely, Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Tomb-sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Qiqiao Festival, Ghost Festival, Mid-autumn Day and Double Ninth Festival. Some other festivals are also celebrated but varied in different areas such as Laba Rice Porridge Festival, Double Sixth Festival, and Winter Solstice Festival. In addition, unique festivals are celebrated among different ethnic groups, e.g. Torch Festival among Yi people, Lusheng Festival among Miao people, Water-sprinkling Festival among Dai people and the like. The following table is a brief overview on general information of the eight major festivals in China.


Date (lunar/western calendar)


Spring Festival

From the last day of lunar December to the fifteenth day of the lunar year/ late January or early February

Set off fireworks, paste spring couplets and new year paintings, shousui (stay up late), worship to gods, have a family reunion dinner, have dumplings, pay New Year visits, watch dragon dances and lion dances, watch the Spring Festival Gala.

Lantern Festival

The 15th day of the lunar year/ around February

Burn incenses, enjoy festive lanterns, guess lantern riddles, and go to temple affairs.

Qingming Festival (Tomb-sweeping Day)

The 106th day after Winter Solstice (around Dec.21-23)/ around April 4 and April 5.

Worship to ancestors, go outing, do spring ploughing and sowing, wear and plant willow shoots, ride on the swing, fly kites.

Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Festival)

May 5th / late May or early June

Hang calamus and Folium Artemisiae argyi on doors, race dragon boat, have rice dumplings (zongzi) and eggs.

Qiqiao Festival/Double Seventh Festival (Chinese Valentine's Day)

July 7th / around August

Do needle works, make Qiqiao lights and food, watch Cowherd and Weaving maid meet in the courtyard.

Ghost Festival
(Zhongyuan Festival)

July 15th / late August or early September

Worship to ancestors, set lanterns on the river, have dumplings and fruits.

Mid-Autumn Festival

August 15th / late September or early October

Have family reunion, appreciate the full moon, have moon cakes and fruits.

Double Ninth Festival (Chongyang Festival)

Sep. 9th / around October

Climb high places, wear medicinal cornels, have family reunion, eat Chongyang cakes, visit elder citizens.

Top Topics

Chinese Kung Fu

Far and wide known as Kungfu (功夫) all over the world, Chinese martial art is also called Wugong (武功) or Wushu (武术) at home by Chinese people. It ca...

Chinese Tea

Being a vivid Chinese cultural specialty as well as Kungfu and traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese tea has been being developed in China for a long ...

Chinese Cuisine

"Food is the first necessity of the people" is a famous Chinese old saying, which reflects that Chinese have had paid much attention to food si...