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Holidays in the People's Republic of China
Chinese people en masse are cheerful. They love holdays and celebrate them with heart and soul. Until recent days, there was no practice of annual vacations in the country, so the opportunity to have some extra days-off was welcomed.
Chinese holidays can be divided into relatively new and traditional ones.This is very clear with new holidays: they are the official days and the holidays borrowed from abroad. They are tied to the Gregorian calendar and celebrated on fixed days. Gregorian calendar is called 公历 gongli (common calendar) by Chinese. Traditional holidays have no fixed days in this calendar. They are determined by 月历 yueli - lunar calendar. It is also called 农历 nongli - peasants' or agricultural calendar.
The calendars available on Chinese market also contain the dates of lunar calendar. Traditional holidays in them are marked with colour.
Below there are short descriptions of primary holidays in China. Their hieroglyphic names can be read if your browser support Chinese fonts. How to tune your browser for Chinese characters, read here.
New Year 新年 (Xinnian)
The Spring Festival, Chinese New Year 春节 (Chunjie)
Chunjie opens up the two-week marathon of celebration. In these days practically nobody works, except transportation personnel, retailers and restaurant owners. These two weeks in fact are the vacation for whole country. The people living far from their homelands are going home to spend time among their relatives. This is the time to have fun, to buy gifts, to eat and to walk, and, of course, to shoot out the biggest part of annual production of firecrackers.
The Lantern Festival 元宵节(Yanxiaojie),灯节(Dengjie),上元节 (Shangyuanjie)
The legend says that the spirits go out to fly in darkness on the night, and people are hanging out the traditionally decored lanterns in order to see them. The official meal of the day are yuanxiao - the balls of glutinous rice with sweet stuffing.
Here are the dates of Chinese traditional holidays in current year:
© Dmitry Alemasov
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