Chinese festivals in Yangshuo
Chinese festivals happen all around the year. In Yangshuo this is no different from any other Chinese society. The three most important festivals the Chinese people in Yangshuo celebrate are the Chinese New Year, Ching Ming and the Moon Festival.
The Chinese Festivals occur throughout the Lunar year. The lunar calendar is each year different as every year the start of the New Year is celebrated at a different day. Thus the festivals are celebrated on different days too.
China has a very long history, one of the oldest in the world. Thus the Chinese festivals are as old as China itself and they are rich in traditions. Young and old come together, festivals are way to bring the family together.
The festivals are the time to return to the family homes. This is the time when it can be hard to get tickets for busses and trains. During the festivals prices can rise up to 3 times the normal price. This is not just for foreigners, it’s for everybody as the demand for tickets is high.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the start of the New Year according to the lunar calendar. It usually happens in February of the solar calendar. Chinese NewYear everywhere in the world celebrate by the Chinese people and Yangshuo is no exception. Even restaurants close for awhile at Chinese New Year! Staff goes back to their families for celebrations.
Ching Ming is a very old Chinese festival. Ching Ming is celebrated in April and is known as “Remembrance of Ancestors Day”. This day is devoted to remember and honour relatives who died.
During the Ching Ming period people will clean the graves of their relatives as they hold a great respect for those who died.
The cleaning process is again a family affair. At day of Ching Ming the family will visit the graves, bring food and drinks and offer these plus paper money to the dead.
An interesting aspect about Ching Ming is the willow as it resembles the symbol of light which is the enemy of darkness in the Chinese philosophy.
During the Ching Ming period you will see willow twigs and branches hanging in doorways to chase the evil spirits away. The Chinese believe that if you don’t hang the willow, you will appear as yellow dog in your next life!
Moon Festival or Lantern Festival
The Moon Festival is also known as Lantern Festival or Mid Autumn Festival. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th Moon and it is the 2nd most important festival to the Chinese New Year.
Again this is a time when the Chinese travel back to the families. Busses and trains are usually long time before sold out and prices can go easily up.
The Moon Festival is full of legendary stories and I would surprised if you are in Yangshuo and would NOT hear some of them. One of those stories is about Chang Er who flew to the moon. She has lived ever since there. You might see her dancing on the moon during the Moon Festival.
The celebration of the Moon Festival is, as you expect, at night with the full moon. The family and friends watch the moon, eat moon cakes and may sing traditional poems.
The best and most preferred Moon Festival night is when there’s no clouds and a little breeze. The Moon Festival is also a good moment for young lovers to find each other and spend together watching the moon while eating moon cakes. When families can not be together they will still watch together at the moon and think of each other, wherever they are.
Temple festival in Pudi village
Pudi is the hometown of our guide and tour operator Jessie Lu. She told me some time back about a temple festival in her hometown. This little known festival attracts since 1999 more and more visitors. Jessie wrote special for the Yangshuo Travel Guide a page about the temple festival which is held every year on the 2nd February.
Jessie’s story about the festival is worth reading and if you are in Yangshuo early February, it’s definitely worth to visit.More about the Temple Festival in Pudi