Student Ambassador Exchange fosters the intercultural exchange of people around the world. One of our most popular interests is from China, a country that sent nearly 700,000 students abroad in 2012. With Christmas right around the corner, we thought it would be interesting to share some of the upcoming Chinese holidays. Should you run into a Chinese exchange student, perhaps you can talk about what they like to do for these holidays!
1. Tomb Sweeping Day: The Qingming or Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese Festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox either 4th or 5th of April in a given year. The Qingming Festival is an opportunity for celebrants to remember and honour their ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, and other libations to their ancestors.
2. Chinese New Year: It’s well known that the New Year is January 1st, however, in China February 8th will mark the day the Chinese calendar begins. This holiday will usher in 7 days of celebration where windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper cups and couplets with popular themes of good fortune, happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
3. Dragon Boat Festival: The Dragon Boat Festival is a celebration where many eat rice dumplings (zongzi), drink regular wine (xionghuangjiu), and race dragon boats. This festival takes place on June 9th, where other activities include hanging icons of Zhong Kui (a mythic guardian figure), hanging mugwort and calamus, taking long walks, writing spells and wearing perfumed medicine bags.