Blog entry

中秋节 Mid-Autumn Festival 2018

Today is Mid-Autumn Festival which is celebrated on the 15th of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.In China, the government designated this festival as a public holiday in 2008 in order to promote traditional culture.

中元节 Hungry Ghost Festival 25 Aug 2018

Today is the Hungry Ghost Festival which is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month in China. The souls of the dead are supposed to return during the seventh month so this is a day in which offerings to ancestors are made, lanterns floated on rivers for the departed, incense and paper offerings, some of them very elaborate burnt for the use of the dead.

Here is how Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated in Singapore where I live.

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/travel-leisure/article/2160024/singapores-hungry-ghost-festival-what-do-lion-city-during

七夕 Qixi Festival 17 August 2018

Today is 七夕 Qixi Festival which is often described as “China’s Valentine Day”. As its name suggests, it is held on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. Since it is a festival celebrated by young women, it’s also called  女儿节 or Girls’ Festival. This festival has also spread to neighboring countries and is known as Tanabata in Japan.The story of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl (identified with the stars Altair and Vega) is associated with this festival.

Duanwujie 端午节 Dragonboat Festival 18 June 2018

The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is  端午节, commonly known as the Dragonboat Festival in English. It is a public holiday in China  and the fesival was added to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List on October 30th 2009. It commemorates the suicide of poet and patriot Qu Yuan in Miluo River after his kingdom of Chu was invaded by Qin. 

Qingming Festival 5 April 2018

Today is Qingming Festival 清明节 (qing ming jie) which the Chinese government has designated a public holiday as part of their drive to promote traditional culture. This is traditionally a day for venerating and making offerings to one’s ancestors as well tomb-sweeping. Other traditional activities include 踏青( “ta qing” meaning going for a spring walk), kite-flying, swinging on swings and playing 蹴鞠 cuju (a kind of Chinese football).

There is a famous poem by Du Mu 杜牧  called 《清明》which is often quoted on this day.

Pure Brightness(Qing Ming) Festival

Lantern Festival 2018

Today is Lantern Festival  元宵节. It falls on the 15th of the first month of the lunar new year i.e. the night of the first full moon. It marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Traditional activities include admiring lanterns and the full moon, guessing lantern riddles, eating tangyuan (glutinous rice dumplings), enjoying lion dance and stilt-walking performances.

Today is the Eve of Chinese New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year's Eve in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong as well as Singapore (same time zone UST+8 ).祝大家狗年身体健康,财源滚滚!

立春 (lichun) Start of Spring 04 Feb 2018

Today is  立春! The first solar term of a new year signaling the beginning of the spring season.

More info about the festival: https://www.chinatravel.com/facts/lichun.htm

Traditional foods for this festival include radish, spring pancake and spring roll.

Happy Laba Festival 腊八节 !

The twelfth lunar month is called 腊月 ("la" month) and this festival is celebrated on the eighth 八(ba), hence it is called Laba Festival.

Originally it started as a day for worshiping gods and ancestors, after Buddhism was introduced to China, it also became associated with the Buddha. Some of the most well-known foods associated with this festival are Laba Congee (made with healthy grains, beans and dried fruit) and green garlic. In Northern China, cloves of garlic are pickled in vinegar which eventually turns them bright green.