In China, all of our holidays are guided by the lunar calendar. It is for this reason that no year our parties and festivals coincide on the same dates. In today’s article, we are going to tell you the origin, history, and traditions of our most traditional festivals in China.
In general in our country, festivals have always been carried out in order to pay tribute to our ancestors. Many of them are associated with ancient and ancestral cults.
What are the most traditional festivals in China?
Although there are many well-known celebrations in our country, there are some more traditional festivals in China that have managed to cross borders and reach the rest of the world. Let’s start with the first one that in this year 2020 has its big day on February 12. The Chinese New Year, starring the ox.
Each year is represented by an animal that changes in a cycle of 12. We leave the rat behind and welcome a year governed by discipline, order, effort, work, and family. It is a celebration that lasts two weeks, although we started preparing it about two weeks before.
We Chinese are very superstitious and carry very old traditions that will mean that we start the year in the best possible way. For example, the color red is the predominant color on these dates for anything. From the decoration of streets and houses, people’s clothes, to the envelopes with money that we give to friends and family as symbols of good luck.
The second most relevant celebration for our culture is the Festival of the Moon. It is also known for the mid-autumn festival since it usually coincides with this time of year. According to our lunar calendar, it is celebrated on the 15th of the eighth month. This year it will be October 1.
This festival has a history of more than 3000 years. It began to celebrate coinciding with the harvest season. Ancient Chinese emperors worshiped the moon to thank it for the harvest of that year. It is a national holiday in China and it is a special time for the family to get together.
Another of the most important festivities is that of the Dragon Boats. According to our calendar, it is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. In 2021 it coincides with June 14.
Its history dates back to more than 2000 years ago. The most popular legend about the origin of this celebration is the commemoration of the death of the great poet Qu Yuan, a patriotic and exiled official. He drowned in the Miluo River. Despite the fact that large groups of people went out to look for his body, they never found it.
How are the most traditional festivals celebrated?
Each party has its customs and we are very superstitious. We carry very old traditions in the most traditional festivals in China. In the case of Chinese New Year, doing some of them will mean that we start the year in the best possible way. For example, the color red is the predominant color on these dates for anything. From the decoration of the streets and houses to the envelopes with money that we give to friends and family (symbols of good luck).
In addition, we eat a series of foods that have great symbols for us with the intention that everything they represent will accompany us during the new year that we begin. The fish is a symbol of prosperity, the rolls symbolize wealth, the noodles refer to the longevity of those who eat them or the fruit of good luck like the orange (now it is not surprising that it is one of the fruits with the that most meat is accompanied in Chinese cuisine).
This festivity lasts for 16 days. It is very important that everything goes well in these two weeks since if we find ourselves involved in a bad situation it is a bad omen for the whole year that begins.
At the fall party or moon festival, all family members gather and dine together around a table, share the typical food of this party, the moon cake, make offerings to the moon, throw lanterns or lanterns into the sky. and they do regional activities.
As we have already mentioned, the most common food during this party is the moon cake. It is a traditional pastry product that is made with lotus seed flour, sugar, and powder. Its shape is round. How could it be otherwise, it has the symbolism of family reunion and happiness. It is cut into portions that match the number of family members sitting at the table. Other foods that are eaten during the festival are those that are part of the harvest (pumpkins, grapefruits, and grapes).
Lanterns are one of the greatest entertainments for both children and adults. They make them in different shapes and sizes and leave them on the riverbank until the light from the lanterns disappears.
At the Dragon Boat Festival, locals row their boats upstream and downstream, pounding the water with their oars and pounding drums in order to drive away evil spirits, keep Qu Yuan’s body-safe, and as a last option, find it your body.