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Chinese Holidays


As a country with over 5000 years of history, China has developed a wide range of traditional Chinese holidays. Those holidays are closely related to the both human and natural cultures like primitive beliefs, sacrificial cultures, astronomy and lunar calendar cultures. They have recorded the rich and colorful social and cultural life of Chinese people from ancient times to present.


Traditional Chinese Holidays


Festival Name

Lunar Date

Solar Date in 2020

Vacation Days (Solar Date)

Customs

Chinese New Year

Jan.1

Jan. 24

Jan.24 - Jan.30

Having all kinds of foods like dumplings, meatballs, fish, wine, fruits, peanuts, melon seeds, candies, setting off firecrackers and fireworks, paying New Year visits, giving gift money, reuniting with families, having reunion dinner, watching Spring Festival Gala

Lantern Festival

Jan.15

Feb. 8

No vacation

Eating Yuanxiao (similar to Tangyuan), enjoying festive lanterns, dragon dance, lion dance, guess lantern riddles

Shangsi Festival

Mar. 3

Mar. 26

No vacation

Having boiled eggs in shepherd's purse, flying kites, having spring outing

Qingming Festival

Mar.12

Apr. 4

April 4 - April 6

Tomb sweeping, having cold food, spring outing

Dragon Boat Festival

May 5

Jun. 25

Jun. 25 - Jun. 27

Eating Zongzi, Having dragon-boat race, drinking realgar wine, wearing colorful bracelets

Double Seventh Festival

Jul. 7

Aug. 25

No vacation

Its the Chinese valentines day.

Praying for skillful hands (women) and being their romantic partners

Mid-Autumn Festival

Aug. 15

Oct. 1

Aug. 15

Offering sacrifice to the moon, enjoying moonlight, having moon cakes

Double-Ninth Festival

Sep. 9

Oct. 25

No vacation

Climbing mountains, enjoying chrysanthemums, drinking wine made of chrysanthemums, eating Chongyang cake

Winter Solstice

Nov.7

Dec. 21

No vacation

Eating dumplings

Laba Festival

Dec.8

Jan. 20 2021

No vacation

Eating Laba Noodles / Laba Porridge


Modern Chinese Holidays


Holidays Name

Solar Date

Vacation Days

Introduction

Origin

New Years Day

Jan.1

Jan.1

Like many other countries, Chinese people celebrate the New Years Day.

The solar calendar was used in China since the founding of the Republic of China. On Jan. 1, 1912, Sun Yat-sen swore into office and became the interim president and he issued the Declaration of the Interim President on the next day in which he first used the words Yuan Dan (New Years Day). The solar calendar was officially applied in China.

International Women's Day

Mar. 8

The afternoon of March 8

Its the date when the workwomen from all over the world protest and fight for equal rights with men.

In the 19th century, the rapid development of capitalism has forced many women into the similar work places as men, but with only 1/2 or 1/3 salary of mens. On Mar.8, 1857, women workers in New Year launched a strike protesting the inhuman working environment and the unequal income. In May of 1857, the Social Party of the United States declared that the last Sunday of every February to be the Womens day. In August of 1910, the March 8 was acknowledged as the womens day. The first memorial of Womens day in China was in 1924, and in 1949, the government also acknowledged March 8th to be the Womens day and all working women shall have a half day off work.

International Workers Day

May 1

May 1 - 5

Its a holiday to memorize the liberation of international working class.

In 19th century, to acquire more value out of working, the capitalists exploited workers by prolonging the working hours, causing a lot of anger among workers. On May 1, 1886, a large-scale of strike broke out in which over 200,000 workers participated. Three years later, a conference held in Paris by the Second International declared the May 1 to be the International Workers’ Day. The celebration of Workers’ Day in China began in 1918, and the Chinese government usually honor the contributing workers on this day.

Youth Day

May 4

No Vacation

Its a holiday to memorize the May 4th Movement in 1919. It was this patriotic movement that preluded the beginning of the New Democratic Revolution of China.

In 1919, the Chinese foreign minister failed to defend the country at the Paris conference, which triggered the great May Fourth Movement led mainly by the youth. They led the common people and businessmen to protest against the weak government by marching, petitioning, striking and even by using violence. This event had an important influence on the origin and development of the Communist Party in China.

International Childrens Day

June 1

Half day vacation for children under 6th grade

Its a special holiday for children and a date to remind people to care for children and fight for their health and education.

To commemorate the children from the Czech village of Lidice who were murdered by the German Nazis in 1942 and the children died in the Second World War, the WIDF (Women's International Democratic Federation) declared the June 1st to be the International Childrens Day. On Dec.23, the Chinese government acknowledged that June 1st is the Childrens Day in China.

Anniversary of CPC Founding Day

July 1

No Vacation

Its the date to memorize the founding of the Communist Party of China.

In May of 1938, Chairman Mao proposed to have July 1 be the memorial day of CPC founding day. The first National Convention of Communist Party was held in July of 1921, but the only people (Chairman Mao and Dong Biwu) who participated the convention could only remember the month, but not the date, and there was no file available for tracing. To make things easier, Chairman Mao decided the July 1st is the memorial day of CPC founding day.

Army Day (August 1, anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army)

August 1

No vacation

Its a holiday to commemorate the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

On Aug.1, 1927, Zhou Enlai, He Long, Ye Ting and other generals led an army of over 20000 people and launched a revolt in Nanchang to resist the reactionaries of Nationalist Party. This revolt represented the beginning of independent revolutionary war led by Communist Party of China, and the founding of Peoples Army.

Teachers Day

September 10

No vacation

Its a date when people pay their respect to teachers.

There were several dates set for Teachers day in Chinese history, but it was in 1985 that the September 10th was acknowledged as Teachers Day.

National Day

October 1

October 1 - 7

Its a holiday to celebrate the founding of the Peoples Republic of China.

On October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao declared the founding of the Peoples Republic of China. To memorize this great event, the Chinese government acknowledged the Oct.1 to be the anniversity of the founding of the new China and everyone can have a 7-day holiday. There was a military parade held in Tiananmen Square in 2019.


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