Home - Travel Blog - Beijing Tours - Beijing Spring Festival

Beijing Spring Festival

By china tour on 11/10/2009 8:47:00 AM | Beijing Tours

China Spring Festival
The Spring Festival, or also known as Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important festival for the Chinese people. Spring Festival according to the Gregorian calendar,falls between late January and mid February, which lasts 15 days. The 15th Day of the Spring Festival (Yuan Xiao Jie) or (Lantern Festival)is also welknown and popular.The Spring Festival was traced back to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC - c. 1100 BC)from the people's sacrifice to gods  and ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. The most important days are Spring Festival Eve and the first three days. The Chinese government has stipulated that people have seven days off for the Lunar New Year.
Many customs accompany the Spring Festival. Before the New Year, there are many preaparations. Store owners are busy then as everybody goes out to purchase necessities for the New Year. These include fruit, candies and various types of nut. What's more, various decorations, new clothes and shoes for children as well as gifts for the elderly, friends and relatives, are all on the list for purchasing. Also, people completely clean both the indoors and outdoors of their homes as well as their clothes, bedclothes and all utensils.

House Cleaning & Fu Dao
Then people begin decorating their clean rooms featuring an atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity. Doors will be pasted with Spring Festival couplets, highlighting Chinese calligraphy with black characters on red paper. The content varies from house owners' wishes for a bright future to good luck for the New Year. Also, pictures of the god of doors and wealth will be posted on front doors to ward off evil spirits and welcome peace and abundance.
The Chinese character "fu" (meaning blessing or happiness) is a must. The character put on paper can be pasted normally or upside down, for in Chinese the "reversed fu" is homophonic with "fu comes", both being pronounced as "fudaole." What's more, two big red lanterns are often raised on both sides of the front door. Red paper-cuttings can be seen on window panes and brightly colored New Year paintings with auspicious meanings may be put on the wall.Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival
The 15th day of the first lunar month is the Lantern Festival and is another climactic activity during Spring Festival. Lantern Festival is the epilogue of the New Year's celebration. From the 13th day to the 17th day of the first lunar month, everyplace is decorated with lanterns and colorful streamers. People can not only eat rice glue balls, enjoy the decorative lanterns, guess lantern-riddles, and set off firecrackers but can also watch the traditional festivities like the lion dance. The whole family has a reunion and enjoys harmony and happiness. At this point, the New Year's celebration comes to an end.
Miao Hui--Beijing New Year's Temple Fairs
The Miaohui, or temple fair, is a traditional celebration of the lunar New Year. It originated from Taoism, a Chinese religion. Some believe that it benefited from the opposition between Buddhism and Taoism, two major religions of China which were in full swing during the Tang and Song Dynasties. Their contention mainly focused on building more temples and attracting more followers. Elaborate rituals and religious activities including the worship of gods, incense burning, folk performances and festivals were carried out regularly around the temples. One of the stand-out features of the event is Xingfo (Buddhist Parade) in which a figure of Buddha was put on a highly decorate float and paraded through the streets. On the anniversary of Sakyamuni's birthday, over 1,000 Buddha figures would be displayed. This later developed into a kind of carnival which involved lion dancing, stage operas, acrobatic shows, etc.