Festivities, Holidays and Traditions in Beijing

New Year

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivities. It's usually held in February matching the first Lunar day. It lasts for about 2 weeks and poeple go to their hometown to visit family and friends. The first night is one of the most important and relatives meet to have dinner, light firecrackers and make noise to shoo evil spirits. It's traditional to hang banners and red lanterns for good luck, as well as hand out money in ennvelops to younger ones. The next morning it's common to visit elder relatives.

Chinese Lanterns Festival

Lanterns Festival ends New Year's celebrations. It's held on the fifteenth day of the first month and is always on Full Moon.Beijing and other parts of the country are lit in red lanterns and its traditional for people to eat rice balls filled with seberal ingredients to represent the Full Moon.

Day of the Deseased or Pure Clarity

A festival is held at the beginning of April to honor the deseased and worship the ancestors. Beijing's locals go to their borebears' graves and clean them, make offerings and burn incense. Most families eat by the tombs and fly kites too.

Lovers Day (Qixijie)

Lovers Day is held on the 7th day of the 7th Lunar month and coincedes with a rain of stars taking place in late July or early August. Qixijie used to commemorate the love of two Chinese mythology youngsters: an oxherd and a weaver. Tradition said that girls had to weave some cloth for their lovers but nowadays it's become quite similar to Valentine's.

Midfall or Full Moon Festival

Full Moon festival is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth Luna month and coincedes with Fall's equinox (if you don't know the exact day it's worth asking!). On that night, people from Beijing fill the streets with friends and relatives to eat traditional Yue Bing cookies, moonshaped cakes with an ancient recipe.

May 1st

May 1st is wolrd's work holiday. It's paramount in Beijing and China 'cause it's one of the only vacation, along with New Year, which tireless Chinese workers have. It lasts for a week and people visit relatives or simply rest.

Day of Peoples Republic of China

October 1st is China's communist party national holiday and the anniversary of Peoples Republic of China. There are several military parades all over the city streets and locals enjoy some holidays.

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