Holidays in China are an interesting and colorful sight. They are more like theater performances. A large number of different significant dates are celebrated in China, both traditional and official.
Celebrating the New Year
One of the most popular holidays in China. The New Year in China has been celebrated on a traditional scale for two millennia. Once upon a time, the Chinese celebrated the New Year for about 30 days. The reason for such long holidays is simple: at that time there was no need to do agricultural work. However, now that the rhythm of life has accelerated significantly, the number of days has decreased and is now one and a half weeks. However, this does not exclude the general joy and fun.
Interestingly, the traditional New Year is a spring festival in China. Due to the great popularity of the "global" New Year, which is celebrated from December 31 to January 1, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire decided to rename their own New Year. Its celebration falls on the second half of winter, which is not too cold here. Therefore, it was decided to renamecelebration of the Spring Festival. It happened about a century ago.
When the New Year is celebrated
Traditional New Year holidays in China have a distinctive feature. There is no fixed day for the beginning of the celebration. The specific date varies from January 21 to February 21 and is calculated according to the lunar calendar. Therefore, the main holiday in February in China is usually the New Year. Traditional New Year's festivities begin on the second new moon after the winter solstice. For two millennia, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire have easily learned to understand the dates. For example, the year of the Yellow Dog according to Chinese traditions begins on February 16th. The time when holidays end in China always varies according to the lunar calendar.
In China, there is a tradition of celebrating the New Year - on the last day you can not go to bed. According to popular beliefs, on New Year's Eve, all misfortunes and misfortunes come out to hunt on the street in order to attack gaping residents. Therefore, if there is no desire to spend the next year in big problems, you can’t go to bed.
Holidays in China are now celebrated according to ancient traditions. For example, New Year's Eve should always be noisy. Currently, there is no problem with this, because the Chinese are real masters in the production of all kinds of fireworks. Interestingly, when the "loud" tradition was born, pyrotechnics simply did not exist, and it was necessary to make noise. The Chinese created noise from any improvised objects. Another tradition is to burn sticks made of bamboo in ovens. burning downthey make a crackling sound that exorcises evil spirits. Currently, chopsticks have been replaced by sparklers.
A monster named Nian
About the celebration of the New Year in China, you can come across another interesting myth. We are talking about a magical monster, who was nicknamed Nian. He is especially hungry on January 1st. And Nyan is by no means against eating other people's livestock, and at the same time - and its owners. In particular, the monster loves small children. To appease the monster, the Chinese put food and drinks on the threshold of the house - it is believed that the only way to avoid a terrible fate is in this way.
Deng Jie - Lantern Festival
Christmas mood does not leave the Chinese for a long time - the celebration continues even 2 weeks after the New Year. January 15 is celebrated everywhere Lantern Festival. Millions of inhabitants of the Celestial Empire admire the lanterns burning in all houses and on the streets. Also everywhere you can see walking dragons and dancing lions. The holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar. The first order to light bright lanterns was given by Emperor Mindni in the 10th century, who preached to the future. This tradition was liked by ordinary people, and since then this holiday has become one of the most popular in China.
Dragon Boat Festival
Begins on the 5th day of the fifth month, according to the lunar calendar. You can also find another name for the festival - Double Five Day. The Chinese Summer Festival also falls on this day. Therefore, you can also find such a name for this date - the Holiday of the beginning of summer.("Duan"). On this day, large-scale rowing competitions are held throughout China. They pass in boats in the form of dragons.
According to legend, this holiday first arose in connection with the memory of a Chinese poet named Qu Yuan. He lived in the distant kingdom of Chu during the time of the warring kingdoms (V-III centuries BC). many times the poet turned to the emperor with a request for change. However, the king believed the false denunciations of dignitaries, and sent the poet out of the capital. In 278 BC. e. The army of the Qin kingdom captured the capital of the Chu kingdom. Qu could not bear it, and on the fifth day of the fifth month he committed suicide. According to legend, they searched for him in the river for a long time. Out of grief, people rushed into the boats to find the body of the poet. However, their search was unsuccessful. After these events, every year on the date of the death of the famous poet, people began to organize boat races on the rivers. They are made in the form of dragons, hence the name of the holiday.
A holiday in China where it is customary to worship the god of the moon. In terms of its importance, it can be second only to the traditional Chinese New Year. It falls on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese calendar. Approximately this corresponds to the second half of September. It is believed that on this day the lunar disk acquires its greatest brightness.
On this holiday, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire gather with their families, cook all kinds of dishes and congratulate each other. The traditional dish on this day is called “yuebing”, or “moon cake”. Chinese women make it from wheat flour withby adding oil. Mooncakes are sweet (the filling is made from sugar, nuts, raisins) or s alty. They are given to friends as a wish for well-being in the family.
An interesting legend is associated with this holiday. In ancient China, there lived an archer named Houyi and his charming wife, Chang'e. At that time, ten solar ravens lived in the sky. When they appeared in the sky at the same time, a huge fire started.
The Chinese emperor ordered Houyi to shoot down nine luminaries, with which the brave archer quickly coped. In gratitude for this, the king rewarded him with a real elixir of life. And he said that before using this elixir, you need to spend a whole year in prayer. Howie returned home and began to pray. However, one day the emperor again called him to him. While he was not at home, his wife drank the entire elixir of life. In less than a moment, she flew to the moon.
And when the archer himself died, he flew up to the Sun. Since then, Houyi and Chang'e have seen each other once a year, on the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is on this day that the celebration of the full moon, which symbolizes the feminine in China, is celebrated.
Feast of the Remembrance of the Dead
Another well-known holiday in China is called Qinming, or All Souls' Day. It falls on April 5th. It is celebrated by all the inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom. To observe all the ceremonies that are held to honor the ancestors, the authorities set aside three days off. Qinming is celebrated 105 days after Winter Day.solstice. This is the only holiday in China that has a fixed date.
It has been around for two and a half thousand years. The main meaning of the memorial day is to pay special respect to the departed ancestors. What holiday in China does without traditions? In Qinming, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire visit cemeteries without fail, put them in order. Also, sacrifices are made in the form of burnt banknotes near the cemetery tablet with the name of the deceased.
If someone cannot visit the graves, he must make a "financial sacrifice" directly on the street. With the help of this action, material we alth is sent down to the other world.
Now the holiday has become one of the reasons for the gathering of all family members. Usually, the Chinese go to nature in the company of close relatives, have picnics - in a word, they enjoy the arrival of the warm season. That is why the second name of this holiday is "The Day of Walking on the First Grass". On this day, the people of China wholeheartedly rejoice at the revival of nature. The symbol of this time is the willow tree. As a rule, Chinese houses are decorated with its branches. In addition to the two names associated with spring, the holiday has another name that deserves interest - Cold Food Day.
The Legend of Jie Zitui
The story about the origin of this name is common in Shanxi province. She connects the origin of this holiday with the name of Jie Zitui, a squire who served one of the princes of the Jin kingdom. The last one was excommunicated from the royalcourt, and he was forced to wander in the mountains for some time. Once the prince and his retinue were completely without food. He was in danger of starvation. Then the valiant squire cut off part of his thigh to feed the high-ranking master.
But when the prince managed to regain the throne, he did not reward his most faithful servant. Jie Zitui was very offended by such ingratitude and went to live in the mountains. However, suddenly the prince remembered his beneficence and called the squire back. However, he chose to remain in the forest. Then the sovereign decided to do otherwise - he ordered his servants to set a fire in the forest, where the servant lived with his mother.
The fate of a noble squire
However, an honest squire preferred to die from the fire, rather than serve a man who once transgressed his duty. The prince was so touched by his nobility that in memory of him he ordered on the anniversary of the death of Jie Zitui not to light fires in the hearths and eat only cold food. Since then, on this date, people began to bring food to Jie's grave and take care of it. In memory of the will of the squire, they stopped heating food and ate only cold food. The next day was Qinming. Gradually, two holidays were combined and began to be celebrated on the same day.
Foundation Day of the People's Republic of China
Another holiday beloved by all the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire is the Day of China. It is celebrated on October 1st. On this day in 1949, the People's Republic of China was formed, and the holiday date was established in December of the same year. Once upon a time, on the Founding Day of the People's Republic of China,military parades, but over time they were replaced by folk celebrations with dances, songs, fireworks.