The Lantern Festival In 2009 The Lantern Festival was on February 9 th Lanterns are everywhere. An interesting tradition is the posting of riddles called 'Lantern Riddles.' Riddles are written on pieces of paper and posted on lanterns or wall. Any one solving the riddle is awarded a prize. Yuan Xiao is the special food for the Lantern Festival. It is believed that Yuan Xiao is named after a palace maid, of Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty. Yuan Xiao is a kind of sweet dumpling, which is made with sticky rice flour filled with sweet stuffing. It is very easy to cook - simply dump them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes - and eat as a desert.
The Chinese New Year The Chinese New Year is perhaps the most elaborate, colorful, and important festival of the year. This is a time for the Chinese to congratulate each other and themselves on having passed through another year, finishing out the old, and to welcome in the new year. Common Expressions GUONIAN to have made it through the old year BAINIAN to congratulate the new year
The Elder’s Day (Double Nines) The 9th day of 9th lunar month The Chinese also eat a cake called Gao in hopes that it will progress everything that they are engaged in at the time. During this festival also called the Height Ascending Festival people generally climb or hike up a mountain. This was passed down from older generations to avoid epidemics . The government also decided to call this say Senior Day or Elders Day. So each year workers prepare an Autumn trip for the retired workers at their job to celebrate them
Spring Festival The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month The most important days are Spring Festival Eve and the first three days. On the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, many families make laba porridge, a delicious kind of porridge made with glutinous rice, millet, seeds of Job's tears, jujube berries, lotus seeds, beans, longan and gingko. Many customs accompany the Spring Festival. Some are still followed today, but others have weakened. Store owners are busy then as everybody goes out to purchase necessities for the New Year. Materials not only include edible oil, rice, flour, chicken, duck, fish and meat, but also fruit, candies and kinds of nuts. Various decorations, new clothes and shoes for the children as well as gifts for the elderly, friends and relatives, are all on the list of purchasing.
The boat races during the Dragon Boat Festival are traditional customs to attempts to rescue the patriotic poet Chu Yuan. The Dragon Boat Festival Chu Yuan drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 B.C. Chinese citizens now throw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water. Therefore the fish could eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This later on turned into the custom of eating tzungtzu and rice dumplings. The celebration's is a time for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year. It is done so by different practices such as hanging healthy herbs on the front door, drinking nutritious concoctions, and displaying portraits of evil's nemesis, Chung Kuei. If one manages to stand an egg on it's end at exactly 12:00 noon, the following year will be a lucky one.
Qing Ming Day Festival The Qing Ming Jie, or Qing Ming Festival, occurs in the middle of Spring, shortly after Spring Solstice. Haishi Day (or Cold Food Day) is the very day just before the Qingming Festival (also named Tomb Sweeping Festival, or Clear and Bright Festival). On the day every year, no fire or smoke is allowed and people shall eat cold food for the whole day. Jie was a good official in the Jin State, working for Crown Prince Chong'er. When Jin State was in turmoil, Chong'er was forced to leave for other states with his henchmen, including Jie. On the way of exile they went through all kinds of hardships and difficulties. To save the starving Chong'er, Jie even cut the flesh off his own leg and boiled for Chong'er. After ascending the throne, Chong'er began to forget Jie by and by. Jie was so sad that he prepared to leave and live in seclusion with his mother in mountains. In order to keep in memory of Jie Zitui, Chong'er issued an order to make the day Haishi Day, also named Cold Food Day.
The Winter Solstice became a festival during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and thrived in the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279). Winter Solstice Festival The Winter Solstice was a day to offer scarifies to Heaven and ancestors. Emperors would go to suburbs to worship the Heaven; while common people offered sacrifices to their deceased parents or other relatives. The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) even had the record that "Winter Solstice is as formal as the Spring Festival," showing the great importance attached to this day. The food that most eat on this day is dumplings thinking it will protect them from the upcoming cold next winter.
I love learning about Chinese Festivals because they are great. They always have a meaning to them. And then there are always great foods being cooked and eaten. And there are always colorful balloons and things up everywhere that make the scene so fun and interesting to look at.