Holidays and Festivals in China

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The Chinese observe a wide variety of traditional and modern holidays, based both on the lunar and solar calendars. The traditional Chinese calendar was based on a lunar cycle– that is, dates following the regular appearance of the full moon. Even so, the equinox and solstice were essential for determining seasons in China’s agrarian society. With the international use of the Gregorian Calendar, some modern holidays, such as the birthdays of national leaders, are based on that.

Major holidays celebrated in China, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities are marked in bold, with this year’s corresponding Gregorian dates in parenthesis.

Lunar Holidays and Birthdays

1st Moon
Day 1~7 Chinese New Year *****
Day 9 Birthday of the Jade Emperor
Day 15 The Lantern Festival

2nd Moon
Day 2 Birthday of Tudigong, Lord of the Earth
Day 3 Birthday of Wenchang, God of Literature
Day 15 Birthday of Lao Zi, Founder of Taoism
Day 19 Birthday of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy

3rd Moon
Day 3 Birthday of Xuantian Shangdi, God of Rain
Day 23 Birthday of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea

4th Moon
Day 8 Birthday of Siddhartha, Founder of Buddhism
Day 14 Birthday of Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals
Day 18 Birthday of Huato, Patron Saint of Medicine

5th Moon

Day 5 Dragon Boat Festival

6th Moon
Day 24 Birthday of Guan Gong, God of Warriors

7th Moon (Ghost Month)
Day 7 Lover’s Day
Day 15 Hungry Ghost Festival
Day 30 Birthday of Dizang Wang, King of the Underworld

8th Moon
Day 15 Mid-Autumn Festival
Day 16 Birthday of Sun Wugong, the Monkey King
Day 27 Birthday of Confucius

9th Moon

Day 9 Double Ninth Day

10th Moon
Day 1 Sending off the Winter Clothes
Day 5 Birthday of Damo, founder of Chan Buddhism

12th Moon
Day 8 Celebration of Siddhartha achieving enlightenment
Day 23 Kitchen God reports to the Jade Emperor

Solar Holidays

April 4, 5, or 6 Tomb Sweeping Day / 清明节
May1~7 International Labor Day Holiday*****
October 1~7 National Day (People’s Republic of China)*****

Importanct Notice
The yellow-backgrounded holidays are when Chinese people crowd in all touristy sites in the country. The price of transportation, lodging, eating...goes up at least 20~30%. We strongly recommend you avoid the period.

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