Chinese New Year Celebrations
Chinese New Year celebrations all over the world are known for their flamboyancy and extravagance and if you are travelling to the country in January, you are in for a really exciting and fun-filled visit. Hordes of locals dressed in traditional costumes, similar to those that have been used for two thousand years, parade through the streets encouraging everyone to become involved in the festivities. Spectacular fireworks displays, flower markets set up especially for the occasion and the ever-popular annual horseracing, combine to make China one of the best places on the planet to visit while the locals are celebrating their New Year.
Dragon Boat Festival
One of the oldest Chinese festivals, Tuen Ng began over two thousand years ago. It takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and is one of the country’s most exciting festivals. Brightly painted boats elaborately decorated with carved dragon heads and tails race throughout China. The festival itself commemorates the death of a national Chinese hero, Chu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo as a protest against the government so many traditional activities are carried out in his honour. But, as well as the formalities, however the whole event ends with one massive party that even the seasoned revellers among you will never forget.
Another of China’s major festivals, this is also known as the Moon Cake festival. The event commemorates a fourteenth century uprising against the Mongols when Chinese rebels wrote messages to revolt on pieces of paper and embedded them in cakes which they smuggled to compatriots. During the celebrations which take place in October, people eat special sweet cakes which are known as ‘Moon Cakes’. Another feature of the festival is the fact that public parks are ablaze with thousands of lanterns in various colours, shapes and sizes and it’s when you go to watch the spectacular light displays that you get to devour your moon cakes while watching the moon rise.
Water Splashing Festival
This festival celebrates the Dai Calendar New Year and is especially popular in the province of Yunnan. Usually taking place for three to five days around April 13th, everyone splashes water on each other as a form of celebration. And while it is traditionally the Dai people who are involved in the soakings, anyone in the streets at the time of the festival is fair game. Great fun and plenty of traditional Chinese events taking place ensure that the water splashing festival is an event well worth catching if you are in the country at the time.
China is home to a variety of performing arts and if you are in any of the major towns or cities throughout the country, there is sure to be an exhibition of some description where you can see some of these acrobatic displays in action. Some of the more popular acts include the lion dance which has evolved from an old Chinese folk dance; tight-wire walking which has been a traditional act in China for over two thousand years; conjuring where the performer produces somersaults with water and fire without getting wet or burned; hoop diving which is pretty self explanatory and meteor juggling, a unique activity where the performer revolves soft rope with glass bowls filled with water to each end. It is difficult to describe these acts but they are extremely impressive when seen live and shouldn’t be missed during your stay.