Jidong Chen Chinese 1A
14 December 2012
Traditional Chinese Festivals
Throughout the history of China, the traditional Chinese Festivals is one of the most important traditional holidays that hold a significant part in the Culture and also for the people as well. Here I introduce the three most important festivals in the Chinese Culture.
The Spring Festival was originated in the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 BC). The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 12th lunar month of the next year. In fact, the Spring Festival Eve and the first 3 days of the festival hold an important part. During the Spring Festival, many family will clean the indoors and outdoors of their homes to get rid of defilements and will begin to paste their doors with Spring Festival couplets “fú” (meaning “blessing” or “happiness”).
Every family will go out and purchases enough food such as meats, fishes, chickens, fruits, nuts, seeds, and rice for the time being. Also, new clothes and gifts must be bought for children, the elderly as well as friends and relatives. On the Spring Festival Eve, all of the family members including the long-distance travels will get together and celebrate. Families will try their best to make their most traditional luxurious meal of the night. Some of the dishes that are
Cha 2 commonly made are chickens, dumplings, fishes, spring rolls and glutinous rice cake. During nighttime, family will be enjoying their traditional foods, music, dance, and other types of entertainments.
After the Spring Festival is held, the Lantern Festival will take its place and it will last till the 15th day of the first month in February. Watching lanterns is one of its most important activity days in the festival. Most of the lanterns are symbolize as hope, joyfulness, and celebration. Chinese lanterns come in various colors, shapes and sizes, but red is the traditional color that is used most with other colors. Each color has its own meaning. For example, red means “good luck”, white means “purity and wisdom”, yellow and gold means “earth”, blue means “immortality”, and black means “death”. (Sweeny-Justice, K., eHow Contributor). Two of the most common characters that are used on the lanterns are “heaven or earth”. Inside most lanterns, candles are burn within to light up the lanterns. Most of the lanterns are used for ceremonial such as weddings, burials, and process of moving. Some of the lanterns are carried by hand during nighttime, but usually it’s accompanied by sticks. For some lanterns, they are hung inside or outside of the homes, street, alleys, restaurants, and etc., to attract visitors.
There are different kinds of activities, but one activity that stood out the most was the riddle guessing game. Owners would write down the riddles on a piece of paper and paste them upon the lantern, whoever guesses the right answer will get a gift from the owner.
Cha 3 Another activity is the Matchmaking Game, in which young unmarried women will flock their lanterns into the river, lake, or sea. If the lantern is picked up, the unmarried women would be able to find a good husband. In the daytime of the Lantern Festival, performance will be held on stage such as lion dance, dragon lantern dance, walking tilt and beating drums. In the nighttime, lanterns will be lit up including fireworks also family will be enjoying their favorite dumplings “yuanxiao”. As of today, the Lantern Festival is still held each year in China.
Couple months later, the Mid-Autumn Festival will begin. The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. In fact, this is the second important festival that plays a part in China as well as the Chinese people. Many people worship the moon during the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Base on a legend, the moon represent Yan Jian, who is the third son of the Emperor of Heaven. He was a strong young man who led the armies to the battlefield in which they had won over the