Fascinating Chinese Festivals Worth Experiencing – Unique Cultural Discoveries

China has a rich heritage with captivating cultural traditions that are linked with festivals throughout the year. Here are such events that are well worth witnessing on your holidays.

Chinese New Year Festival

The Chinese New Year Festival is the nation’s most important festival and goes back over 4,000 years. Be it in Beijing, Shanghai or Xi An, China hotels provide guests with an ideal chance to enjoy the festivities. These usually include red lantern decorations, food-filled gatherings, lion and dragon dances and fireworks.

Chinese Lantern Festival

The Chinese Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Festival is held on the 15th day following the Chinese New Year. All manner of lanterns are on display, some set afloat on waterways and others released in the air. The Xian City Wall near Grand Park Xian is a key spot to witness such colourful lanterns.

Qingming Festival

Referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day, the Qingming Festival falls on 4th or 5th April. During this festival, people visit the tombs of their ancestors to sweep them and offer sacrifices; it is also a popular time for spring outings amidst spring blossoms, kite flying and enjoying traditional food like peach blossom porridge.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival| Img by: Shizhao via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5

Another well-known cultural event, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunions. In the Chinese lunar calendar, the 15th day of the eighth month is when this festival is held; on this day, people will share family meals, enjoy viewing the full moon, light paper lanterns and savour yummy mooncakes.



China Hainan Island Carnival – Tropical Island-Fun for All

Hainan Island China is fast gaining popularity as China’s foremost island of pleasure and tropical fun for the whole family. From golfing to swimming in the warm waters that surround the island the Hainan Carnival is a great crowd puller and well worth a visit. Choosing to stay at a Sanya resort is a good choice for exploring the island in comfort and if it’s luxurious indulgences you seek consider the Anantara Sanya Resort & Spa.

Located in Sanya the Hainan Islands southernmost city, this hotel offers the best in first class indulgences rejuvenate at the luxurious spa and enjoy the gorgeous views of Dadonghoi Bay and picturesque mountains that surround the resort. Appreciate sweeping views of the south China Seas from the well-appointed rooms, suites and gorgeous pool villas while indulging in a game of golf is just 1 km away. Relax and unwind at this sun-kissed beachfront hotel in Hainan, offering easy access to many of the islands attractions.

China’s second largest island Hainan boast summer-like weather conditions all year round. The waters are relatively warm and offer visibility to depths of 10 meters, making swimming and scuba diving a real thrill.

Enjoy the eco-environment and average temperatures of 23C degrees making Hainan a sought after holiday destination, not just for its spas and world class golf courses but also for the many festivals, one of which is the Hainan Island Carnival which promises loads of fun and entertainment for the whole family, covering sporting events, beauty pageants, cultural shows and many artistic events.

Witness the diverse ecological aspects of Hainan Island, indulge in gourmet cuisine from around the world, stay at world class hotels and relish the gorgeous ocean and sandy beaches.

Intrigued by history, art and food, Shazzana Hamid is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary. Disguised as Lavinia Woolf she writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.Google+

Festival of the Hungry Ghost – To Pay Homage to the Dear Departed

As the ones we love never depart until we choose to forget them, the Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated with great pomp and blare by the Chinese across the world. During this festival all the deceased relatives are remembered and paid respect to. One of the most fascinating of Chinese festivals, it is one that will surely add color to your holiday if you happen to be in Singapore during the time of the festival. Indulging in the finest of luxuries available to you at 5 Star hotels Singapore has, such as The St. Regis Singapore the celebration will indeed thrill you with all its quaint rituals and deep, hidden meanings.

The Festival of the Hungry Ghost is also known as the Ghost Festival and Yu Lan, and is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar. The seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is the month of August and this month is called the Ghost Month and the fifteenth day is called the Ghost Day by the Chinese.

Mainly observed by the Buddhists and Taoists this month is believed to be month in which the gates of hell are opened and the spirits of the deceased revisit the world they once lived in. The families of the deceased perform rituals to pardon the sufferers in hell while some families have elaborate meals of vegetarian food, serving to plates that are placed before empty seats for each of the deceased member of the family.

Some traditions also include floating decorated paper lanterns on water hoping that these would provide the direction and guidance needed to the revisiting ghosts to find food offerings that are prepared for them. Some even worry about stepping out of the house at night for fear of encountering a ghost on the way and carefully seek to avoid places that have water, as they believe that the ghosts of drowned mortals are more troublesome that the rest.

It is indeed an interesting and beautiful festival that lends much color and beauty to the life of the Chinese. Stemming from Buddhism combined with folklore this festival is indeed one that stands out as quite unique and special in the Chinese culture and tradition.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.


Festivals in Wuhan – Something for Everyone

Travellers visiting Wuhan in China are enthralled by its ability to demonstrate its old world charm intermingling with modernity. Wuhan is peppered with a number of attractions tailor-made for ardent explorers and is truly an intriguing place to visit for, regardless of when you visit this region, there will always be various festivals and events that allow tourists a valuable insight into the beautiful culture of the area.

If you are thinking about visiting Wuhan early next year, the Chinese New Year celebrations are not to be missed! Join in the festivities as the locals’ herald the dawn of the New Year according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar with colourful dragon dances and rituals as well as the lighting of beautiful fire crackers and fireworks that light up the entire sky in a colourful array of shades while enjoying traditional dumplings known as Jiaozi.

Those visiting Wuhan towards the latter part of February will have the opportunity to witness the city bloom as they celebrate the Plum Blossom Festival. During this time, over two hundred varieties of plum are expected to blossom and the Chinese celebrate this beautiful event with music, dance and a multitude of design competitions that capture and celebrate the beauty of the Festival.

The traditional lantern festival is celebrated in March with the hundreds of lanterns lighting up the entire city while the month of April takes on a more sombre with the Tomb Sweeping Festival where the locals celebrate Qingming by cleaning graves as a mark of respect towards their beloved departed. The months of May and June witness the locals celebrating the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival with a number of races, festivities and of course, traditional local grub such as Zongzi and Azongzi.

For those who are accustomed to celebrating love on the 14th of February each year, the Qi Qiao Jie Festial in July will come as a pleasant surprise as this event is the Chinese version of the traditional Valentine’s Day. Towards the latter part of the year, the locals celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival in September, the Wuhan International Tourist Festival in October and of course, Christmas in December.

Thus, when visiting and staying in Wuhan accommodation, tourists and travellers will always be occupied with an exciting event or festival and for those arriving in the city on business and staying at the Citadines ZhuanKou Wuhan, these festivals are an ideal opportunity to let off some steam and enjoy the local culture. As a result of these celebrations, however, accommodation in Wuhan must be booked early to avoid disappointment.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.Google+

Festivals in Tianjin – Blasts from the Past

Festivals are unique expressions of a community’s or a country’s cultural traditions. There are seasonal festivals determined by lunar calendars and cycle of the seasons and festivals rooted in religious beliefs. People in Tianjin celebrate many such festivals that have been a part of their culture and beliefs for a very long time.

Along with the whole of China, Tianjin celebrates the Spring Festival on Feb 13th, the first day of the first lunar month that is also Chinese New Years’ eve. Family members return home, exchange hongbao or red envelopes with money, remember their ancestors, give their houses a thorough clean up and partake of specially made holiday food. Dragon and lion dances, lantern parades, temple fairs are part of the festivities highlighted by the noise of fire crackers that reach a peak at midnight on New Years’ eve and disturb the peace for at least a week afterwards. The Lantern Festival on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year also marks the end of the Spring Festival. Paper lantern decorations are everywhere. Even streets have red paper lanterns strung across them. In the evening thousands of lanterns are sent skywards, a beautiful sight as they drift gently off on the breeze.

Qing Ming on the 5th of April is to remember and honour family ancestors. Their graves are cleaned and food and drink are placed on them. This day also celebrates the arrival of spring. Traditionally no food is cooked the whole day. Many take the day off to walk among the flowering trees in the countryside and to fly kites which is said to ward off evil. The Dragon Boat Festival marks the summer solstice, in the 5th lunar month when the sun is at its strongest. Competitions with hundreds of participating boats are a huge attraction in the waters around Tianjin. For the superstitious this is also a day to ward off evil. Special food and drink are consumed and garlands of herbs are hung round children’s necks.

The end of the summer harvest at end September marks the Mid Autumn Festival. Traditionally moon cakes in various flavours and forms are eaten under the harvest moon with family and friends. Public parks are crowded with people eager to get a glimpse of the moon and to spend a night out in the open.

October 19th or the ninth day of the ninth lunar month is said to be not too auspicious as it is said to have too much yang. People go to temples all over Tianjin to burn incense and carry out other rituals to counteract this. Climbing to the highest available point and drinking Chrysanthemum wine are also part of the rituals.

The Somerset Olympic Tower Tianjin is in the best possible city location as it offers business people one of the most suitable long stay options with its serviced residence in Tianjin. Guests can select from one, two, and three bedroom apartments comfortably furnished and comprehensively equipped to suit their lifestyles. Experience this serviced apartment Tianjin that offers convenience, modern comforts and a safe environment.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+

A Glimpse Into Ancient History-Xi’an, China

Xi’an was one of the earliest centers of Chinese civilization going back to the Zhou dynasty of the eleventh century. It was home to several emperors and most of the ancient dynasties of China were established in this city. It is the perfect location for those interested in history, Chinese culture and Chinese people. If you are a history buff you can keep yourself busy in Xi’an for over a week since there are so many historical sites to visit. Even if you are not the history type, Xi’an is probably the best place to experience authentic Chinese culture. The city sits in the Wei River valley surrounded by modern developments, and yet you get the feeling that the people of Xi’an have held on to their historical roots.

The Tang Dynasty show is a cultural performance that will give you a taste of what it was like back in ancient China. There are two main venues that host the show; one is Shaanxi Song and Dance Theatre and the other is Tang Dynasty Palace. For the performance held at Shaanxi Song and Dance theatre you have the option of a sit down dinner. The theatre is considered to be one of China’s best cultural entertainment theatre restaurants. Foreign visitors will love the atmosphere of the theatre because you can enjoy delicious meals provided by the Tang Dynasty Palace and also revel in the exhilarating performance.

If you want to grasp the historical essence of Xi’an then you should make a trip to Army of Terra-Cotta warriors. The site was discovered by a local farmer back in the 1970’s and it has now become a popular attraction amongst locals and foreigners alike. The terra-cotta figures are life size and they represent army of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Some of the other key sites to visit when you are in Xi’an are: Big Goose Pagoda, Hanyang Tombs, Forest of Stone Steles and Huaqing hot springs. While there are a large number of historical attractions to explore in Xi’an there are also some places where you can just hang out. Check out the bazaar in Xi’an Muslim Quarters or Xi’an city wall. You can easily find Xian accommodation if you intend on staying in the city. A serviced apartment Xian would be the perfect fit for those who want some privacy and at the same time a place that is close to all of the tourist attractions. Citadines Xingking Palace Xi’an can be recommended since it includes all of the services plus a gym, sauna, yoga and table tennis rooms.

Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.


Oingming Festival Beijing – Respect Your Elders

The People’s Republic of China continues to make headlines for more reasons than its economic growth could ever muster up. Its world travel hotspots which offer the traveller a diverse range of experiences, sights & sounds and gourmet delights are unrivalled in relation to any other place in the world. Beijing, the capital of China is one of the four great ancient capitals in the country with a diverse history stretching back to many centuries. With over a population of 17 million citizens, Beijing is the largest city in China.

There is much to see in this colourful ancient city that is bound to mesmerise its guests creating lasting memories. From rolling valleys to mountain ranges, monuments, historic landmarks and colourful festivals this city is always on the roll. Festivals in Beijing take up great amount of preparation, excitement and importance and are much anticipated by the locals as well as visitors to the city. Whether it is the celebration of the dawn of a new year, paying respect to elders or even marking the coming of age for youth, the celebrations continue in good faith.

The Oingming Festival is one such event that is celebrated in Beijing with great respect and eagerness. This is the festival held especially to honour the ancestors of all families throughout the country. On this day families make it a point to visit the tombs of their ancestors, here they will clean the tomb area, do renovations if needed and take offerings with the belief that these ancestors will watch over them and promote good luck in all their endeavours.

Greater China, which comprises of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, is the home for many greater China hotels that contain the best in all cultures and surroundings. Especially the hotels in China are decorated with rich silk materials, lanterns and are equipped with modern amenities to ensure that their guests are fully satisfied with their reservations. Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China is another luxury hotel by the Millennium Hotels and Resorts group. Located in Mainland China, this comfortable property gives you easy access to all major business entities, shopping complexes and places of interest.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travelers across all walks of life.


Christmas in Beijing – A Grand Affair

Although Christmas in not a public holiday in China; it is celebrated with the same grandeur and glamour exhibited in more opulent nations. Like Valentine’s Day or any other commercial festival, Christmas brings with it plenty of decoration and a whole festive holiday spirit. When you look at the many streets lined with sparkling Christmas trees and hear Christmas carols echo in the distance, you would really be surprised that Christmas is not a religious festival in China.

Despite Christianity not being a primary religion in China, the country houses a substantial amount of churches. After all, China does have a population of 1.3 billion people and the Christians, according to statistics, make about 2 % of this population. Nevertheless the younger generation of China – Christian or not – are enthusiastic about celebrating this festive holiday that brings with it such joy and promise.

Shops are piled high with colourful Christmas goodies and sales people almost always don the iconic Santa hat in the true spirit of the season. For Christians holidaying in China this really provides a taste of home at ridiculously inexpensive prices. There are so many Christmas activities one can indulge in during this season. For one, you can try out the delicious traditional Christmas dishes. From bread and cakes to complete meals, most fancy restaurants and 4 and 5 star hotels in the country offer them all. Chefs who specialize in creating the holiday favourites are brought in from around the globe resulting in very authentic tastes.

If you are keener on cooking your traditional Christmas dishes with the famous family recipe, you can walk into any big supermarket to purchase your ingredients as it is usually stocked with all the Christmas necessities in a special section dedicated to the season. Along with shopping for Christmas delicacies, you can shop for Christmas goodies to grace the halls and rooms of your hotel room; from decorations, Christmas presents to Christmas gadgets, most malls and department stores have a healthy supply of them all. Even business hours are prolonged during the season as it enjoys a good amount of sales.

If Christmas spirituality is important to you, you can walk into one of the many churches in the city of Beijing, and many of the Catholic churches will feature the famous “midnight mass”. Beijing itself has 11 Churches, 5 of which are Christian and 6 are Catholic. In these churches that are glowing with vibrant Christmas hues, you can enjoy beautiful Christmas choirs and soothing prayers. While you holiday in the country, you will discover a range of greater China hotels such as the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. With gracious hospitality and elegant interiors, these properties are considered to be prime luxury hotels in China.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


Sunlight Rock Xiamen – Where Dragons And Tigers Team Up

China is a country that has many myths and legends that have shaped its history and some of them still remain true till the present day. There are a number of tourist hot spots, which have a rich legend that is closely linked to its existence. What is known as Sunlight Rock, found in the Xiamen area in China is one such place.

According to Chinese mythology, Sunlight rock is the place where dragons and tigers teamed up to protect the entrance to the famous Xiamen Harbour. Hence the premises are also known as the Dragon Rock and also Camel Rock.

It is almost 93 meters high and is a major tourist attraction, all complete with cable cars and a number of other tourist attractions in and around the region.

There are a vast number of calligraphic inscriptions that have been found from this place, suggesting the historical importance of this attraction. According to one of the more than eighty inscriptions that are found here, it is said that once in the 17th century there was a flower garden as well as a bamboo garden located at the foot of the rock. What is interesting is that proving that almost true, archaeologists have unearthed some findings from the Ming Era from this setting. One of the most well known inscriptions found in this place is the “Heroic spirit of the south Fujian sea”.

It is believed that the oldest of the inscriptions found here has been written as far as four hundred years ago and some of them can still be read and understood. This is indeed a wonderful spot to go to understand and come closer to history and heritage of China as well as have a great break exploring the rocks and taking in the breath taking scenery.

There are a number of Greater China Hotels, from which this attraction can be reached. For holiday planner looking for hotels in China can choose Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China, which provide unmatched luxury and a great holiday atmosphere. Whether one is traveling alone, with family or with friends, its guests are sure to have a memorable time.

Plum Blossom Garden Wuxi – A Heavenly Site

Located in Wuxi, China the Plum Blossom Garden is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to see in the world. This is the most ideal place to watch and appreciate these blossoms where the whole area is painted in mesmerizing flowers blossoms.

This well known garden is set facing the glossy Taihu Lake and back onto the Dragon Mountain. These natural attractions combined with the dazzling blossoms create a mind blowing picturesque scenery. The plum blossom plays a great role in the Chinese culture as one of the most beloved flowers in China and is often depicted in Chinese poetry and art.

The history behind this wonderful garden dates back to 1912. The honour of creating this garden goes to Rong Desheng who invested in the site and was involved in the construction. Rong Desheng planted many plum trees on acres of land.

These blossoms create a romantic atmosphere in the area amid the refreshing fragrance. At present this marvellous site houses over 4,000 plum trees along with around 2000 plum bonsai trees. This 100 years old garden features many members of the plum family such as the Dragon Swim, Reclinate Branch, Branch, hybrids varieties and cherry plum. The panoramic view is not the only significance of this site. It also has terraces, pagodas, rare stones as well as a museum where one can find out about the long history of these floral species. The Plum Pagoda which is the highest point in the garden offers a spectacular springtime view of the area’s scenic beauty and surroundings. A visit to this amazing garden can only make your trip more memorable. The site is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Those travelling to China will find a wide range of accommodation options to suit a variety of budgets. From comfortable resorts to super luxurious hotels you will be spoilt for choice. Out of the hotels in China a perfect option would be the properties belonging to Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. Featuring a variety of Greater China hotels, this reputed name in the hospitality industry provides a truly memorable experience for those heading to the region.