Chinese Holidays/Festivals

The Chinese observe a wide variety of traditional and modern holidays, based both on the lunar and solar calendars. The traditional Chinese calendar was based on a lunar cycle– that is, dates following the regular appearance of the full moon. Even so, the equinox and solstice were essential for determining seasons in China’s agrarian society. With the inter-national use of the Gregorian calendar, some modern holidays, such as the birthdays of national leaders, are based on that.

Major holidays celebrated in China, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities are marked in bold, with this year’s corresponding Gregorian dates in parenthesis.

1st Moon DAY 1 Chinese New Year (Feb 7, 2008)

DAY 9 Birthday of the Jade Emperor

DAY 15 The Lantern Festival (Feb 21, 2008)

2nd Moon DAY 2 The Dragon-Head-Raising Festival (Birthday of Tudigong, Lord of the Earth)

DAY 3 Birthday of Wenchang, God of Literature

DAY 15 Birthday of Lao Zi, Founder of Taoism

DAY 19 Birthday of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy

3rd Moon DAY 3 Birthday of Xuantian Shangdi, God of Rain

DAY 23 Birthday of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea

4th Moon DAY 4 The Hanshi ( Cold Meal ) Festival

DAY 8 Birthday of Siddhartha, Founder of Buddhism

DAY 14 Birthday of Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals

DAY 18 Birthday of Huato, Patron Saint of Medicine

5th Moon Day 5 Dragon Boat Festival(June 8, 2008)

6th Moon DAY 6 Aunt’s Day / The Tian Zhu Day

DAY 24 Birthday of Guan Gong, God of Warriors

7th Moon (Ghost Month) DAY 7 Double-Seven Day

DAY 15 Hungry Ghost Festival

DAY 30 Birthday of Dizang Wang, King of the Underworld

8th Moon DAY 15 Mid-Autumn Festival (Sep 14, 2008)

DAY 16 Birthday of Sun Wugong, the Monkey King

DAY 27 Birthday of Confucius

9th Moon DAY 9 Double Ninth Day

10th Moon DAY 1 The Ancestors’ Sacrifice Festival (Sending off the Winter Clothes)

DAY 5 Birthday of Damo, founder of Chan Buddhism

12th Moon DAY 8 Celebration of Siddhartha achieving enlightenment

DAY 23 Kitchen God reports to the Jade Emperor

Solar Holidays and Birthdays

April 4, 5, or 6 Qingming Festival/Tomb Sweeping Day

September 28 Teacher’s Day (Taiwan — Confucius’ Birthday)

October 1 National Day (People’s Republic of China)

October 10 National Day (Taiwan — “Double Tenth”)

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