1st - 15th of the First Lunar Month. Start Chinese New Year .
Tradition: More then 4000 years. It's origin starts during the Shang Dynasty (17th - 11th century before Christ).
The story: the tradition is about Monster Nian. Who came out from see once a year to eat live stock and children. People would leave there homes and fled to the mountains. One day a stranger arrived and stayed in the house of an old lady promising he who scare monster Nian away. He packed the house in red paper and made loud noises with firecrackers when the monster was standing at his door. He opened the door in a red toga and laughed very loud at Monster Nian. Monster Nian got scared and fled into the dark night. The next day people returned to there homes and were very suprised there was no damage at all. Looking at the house of the old lady they were convinced that the red color and fire-crackers scared Monster Nian off into the night.
Being the longest public holiday it is a time for family reunion. Most workers / employees will have 7 days off work. Students are free from school for 4 weeks. Chinese New Year Festival is the largest human migration in the World. For many people it is the only possibility to visit there family.
15th of the First Lunar Month. 'Night of the first month'.
Marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations and festivities with the first full moon of the year.
The 15th and final day of Chün Jié / Spring Festival. The Latern Festival dates back to the Han Dynasty (206BC - 220AD). In ancient times children carry paper laterns to tempels. Today parks and citys allover China setup beautifull laterns towards the Latern Festival.
April 4th or 5th of the Solar Calendar. 'Festival of Pure Brightness'.
Traditions: Tomb Sweeping Day and Worschipping Anchestors. It is a 3 day public holiday depending on the Chinese Lunar calendar. People will usually make a trip to the cemestry sweeping the tombs. The QingMing Festival is about children paying respect to there (grand)parents who made huge sacrifices and thank them that way. Paying respect to the people that past away is very important in Chinese culture.
5th day of the 5th Lunar Month.
It is also called the Duanwu Festival. In Chinese: 端午节. Since 2008 it is a public holiday. Three of the most activities at this day are eating Zongzi (rice dumplings in Bamboo leaves), drinking wine and racing Dragon Boats.
The story: Qu Yuan was a poet in the state of Chu during the Warring State Period (475 and 221 BC). Qu Yuan was loved by people and is famous for his contributions to the Chinese Poetry collection, known as 'Songs of Chu'. 'The Lament', 'The Nine Chapters' and 'Heavenly Questions' are considered masterpieces in the Chinese culture. Qu Yuan fought very hard against corruption and corrupt officials were very afraid of him. Qu Yuan also served as minister for the Chu Emperor. Qu Yuan adviced the Emporor not to ally with the powerfull State of Qin. Qu Yuan got accused with betrayal and treason and was forced into exile. He traveled allot and kept teaching and writing during his banishment. When Qu Yuan heard that the Emporor had been beaten by the State of Qin, he lost all hope. Qu Yuan throwed himself in the Milou River and killed himself on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar Month. As Qu Yuan was enormously loved by normal people: fisherman jumped into long boats trying to save his body. The fisherman threwed Zongzi in the river to distract fishes from eating his body. They also beated on loud drums to scare to fish away. His body was never found.
7th day of 7th Lunar Month.
15th day of the 8th Lunar Month. Zhong Qiu Jie / Mid Autumn Festival.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese family festival to get together. Like Thanksgiving in the West. The tradition is that friends and family's eat a moon-shaped dessert: a Moon Cake. Moon Cakes are crumbly and soft and taste sweet. Moon Cakes are round to represent reunion. People exchange Moon Cakes for family wholeness, harmony and hapiness. The tradition originates from ancient customs of Moon Worshipping. People paid tribute to the Moon and made sacrifices. Depending on the area people might celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival with Laterns in homes, parks and religous and historical sites.
9th day of the 9th Lunar Month.
Day of the Eldery. According to Chinese culture 9 is a Yin number. Which means that the 9th day of the 9th Lunar Month has to much Yang. Making that day potentialy a dangerous day. To protect against that danger it is custom to climb mountains and drinking wine. The Double Ninth Festival dates back to 25 AD.
The story: There once was a family that lived under a mountain. One day a stranger was traveling by. He was exhausted and starving. The man collapsed in front of there door. The family took care of the man providing food and shelter. For days the stranger didn't wake up. The family kept believing they could save his life. After a few days the stranger waked up. When the stranger fully recovered he thanked the family. Before he left he told them that they must leave there home on the 8th day of the 9th Lunar Month and must go high onto the mountain because there was a plaque coming. The family left that day, climbed the mountain and saw a strange purple mist underneath them in the valley. When they returned after the mist was gone all there live stock was death including there biggest and strongest ox. The family was convinced they were saved because they saved the strangers life. They thanked the stranger by climbing the mountain each year on the 9th day of the 9th Lunar Month. Soon the word spread and other people followed the tradition.
In 1989 the Chinese Government decided that the Double Ninth day also was a good day for seniorsday. A day to celebrate the elderly.
Dongzhi Festival: Marks coming of winter. People in the North of China are eating dumplings (jiaozi) during the winter solstice. Dumplings are very popular food with a long history in China. There is a saying in China: "Chi jiaozi bu dong erduo" meaning: You will not freeze your ears if you eat dumplings. The shape of dumplings look like ears. In other places there is a custom of eating Lamb or eating Tangyuan during the Dongzhi Festival. Tangyuan is very popuar in South China. Tangyuan is round and is associated with reunion and perfection. Tangyuan are glutinous rice balls.
In the past Dongzhi Festival was said to have been new years day. South of the Yangtze river there is a saying: 'you will be one year older' after de Winter Solstice diner.
Laba Festival: 2017 - January 5th.
8th day of the 12th Lunar Month.
The 12th Lunar Month is called 'La Yue'. La meaning 'old to new' - Yea meaning 'Moon'. It marks the beginning of the preparation period for Chinese New Year. A day of Enlightment. People eat Laba Gralic and Laba Congee in China. Laba Festival is a day for accounting en paying debt. It is a time to check to balance of the year. To honor the Gods at the end of the year sacrifes were made with cattle and lamb.