Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival (aka Duanwu Festival) is a traditional Chinese festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. In 2012, the festival falls on June 23. The celebration activities of Dragon Boat festival includes racing dragon boats, eating Zongzi, and drinking realgar wine, etc.

Dragon Boat Festival

The important Chinese folk festival is dedicated to the ancient patriotic poet Qu Yuan, who lived more than 2,300 years ago.

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon boat racing is an indispensable part of the festival, held all over the country. As the gun is fired, the racers in dragon-shaped canoes pull the oars harmoniously and hurriedly with rapid drums, and speed toward their destination.

Dragon Boat Festival

Zongzi – Chinese rice dumpling

Zongzi are to the Dragon Boat Festival what eggs are to Easter or roses to Valentine’s Day.

Dragon Boat Festival

Zongzi – Chinese Rice Dumpling

It is made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves or other plant leaves.

Dragon Boat Festival

Zongzi – Chinese Rice Dumpling

Now, with diversified fillings, it is available all year round at street stalls, supermarkets and restaurants.

At that day, adults would drink realgar wine, and paint children’s foreheads and limbs with the leftover realgar slurries. Also, Chinese people hang up calamus & wormwood. Both are for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year.

Dragon Boat Festival

People paint children’s foreheads with realgar wine.

Dragon Boat Festival

Hang up calamus & wormwood at the door.

For more infos about Dragon Boat Festival, please follow this link:

https://www.easytourchina.com/fact-v356-the-dragon-boat-festival

More Details about Zongzi, please view:

https://www.easytourchina.com/blog-v1008-about-zongzi-chinese-rice-dumpling

 

Chinese Laba Festival falls on Jan. 1, 2012

Chinese Laba Festival

Chinese Laba Festival

In China, the twelfth month of lunar year is called “La month,” and the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month is thus called “Laba Festival”. As a traditional Chinese holiday, Laba Festival marks the official start of Spring Festival, and the most distinctive and popular tradition on the festival is making and eating Laba rice porridge.

Origin
There are two popular stories of the origin of Laba Festival.

One story goes that Laba Festival was originated from Sakyamuni. He was saved by a shepherdess with her lunch — porridge made with beans and rice when he fell into unconsciousness by a river in India from exhaustion and hunger. This enabled him to continue his journey and on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month after six years of strict discipline Sakyamuni finally realized his dream of full enlightenment. In order to commemorate this incident, every year at the Laba Festival Buddhists eat Laba porridge and offer it freely to the poor.

Chinese Laba Festival

multiple ingredients as glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds, red beans, dried dates, chestnut meat, walnut meat, almond, peanut

According to another story, Laba Festival was set by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang to commemorate his hard days in the early Ming Dynasty. When he was suffering from cold and hunger in jail, Emperor Zhu found some red beans, rice and other grains in rat holes and boiled them into porridge on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month. Later, Emperor Zhu achieved the throne and named this day as the Laba Festival, the porridge as Laba porridge.

Chinese Laba Festival

Laba Rice Porridge

Customs

The most popular custom of Laba Festival is eating Laba Rice Porridge. Laba rice porridge is quite delicious with multiple ingredients as glutinous rice, red beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds, red beans, dried dates, chestnut meat, walnut meat, almond, peanut, etc. As a nourishing and healthful food, Laba porridge serves as a symbol of good fortune, long life, and fruitful harvest.
Another custom is the soaking of Laba Garlic, which is particularly popular in northern China. Garlic is soaked in vinegar for twenty days starting from Laba Festival and then the garlic is used alongside Chinese dumplings (or jiaozi) around Spring Festival.

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival Falls on December 22, 2011

Dongzhi, literally “the Extreme of Winter”, is the 22nd one of 24 solar terms each year, and marks the winter solstice. It always comes around December 22 in Gregorian calendar. The day is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians.

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival

In China, Dongzhi was originally celebrated as an end-of-harvest festival. Today, it is observed with a family reunion over the long night, also named “Chinese Thanksgiving”. Family members get together to drink mellow wine, eat delicate food, visit friends and relatives, exchange presents and host memorial ceremony for ancestors and Gods.

In the northern China, eating dumplings and wontons on Dongzhi means gaining positive energy and getting rid of negative power. Red bean porridge is welcomed in Shaanxi since it is considered effective to avoid ghosts and epidemic disease.

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival

People in Northern China eat dumplings.

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival

Wontons, food in Chinese Winter Solstice Festival

In the Southern China, especially in Zhejiang and Jiangsu Province, tangyuan is no exception on this specific day. Each family member receives at least one large tangyuan in addition to several small ones. The flour balls may be plain or stuffed. Tangyuan with stuff is used to honor the ancestors at night ceremony while tangyuan without stuff used to worship Gods in the morning ceremony. Also, there is a tradition eating long noodles in the hope of long life.

Chinese Winter Solstice Festival

Tangyuan, or balls of glutinuous rice, symbolizes reunion

About the origin of Winter Solstice Festival, please follow:
https://www.easytourchina.com/fact-v361-the-winter-solstice-festival