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Chinese Holidays

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Donovan Mahorn

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of Chinese Holidays

the ghost festival falls on the fifteenth of the lunar July.
During the ghost fetival the devil opens the gates of hell to allow the ghosts to visit the living.
it is said that The ghost that visit the earth did not have a proper funeral or burial
AIt is mostly celebrated in Singapore
some families offer sacrifices to the ghost so the ghost wont harm them.
Winter Solstice Festival
The Winter Solstice falls on December 21 or 22 according to the Gregorian Calendar which is the one that we use in the West
To Many Chinese it is considered more important than the actual new years and Spring Festival
This is so because during Zhou and Qin dynasties (1046 – 207 BC) it was considered the starting point of the new year
This custom has persisted and people presently call it the Small New Year
This holiday is considered a day of rest were all people celebrate with their families by worshiping their ancestors and eating traditional foods such as dumplings and rice cakes
Hungry ghost festival
Chinese New Year
Zodiac Signs
Celebrates longevity + fertility and time to relax
The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years. This is equivalent as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year, but it is publicly on Feburary 10th and New YEar eve on Feburary 9th .Chinese New Year or other wise known as the spring festival starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The last Day is called the Lunar festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving. The celebration was traditionally highlighted with a religious ceremony given in honor of Heaven and Earth, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. The sacrifice to the ancestors, the most vital of all the rituals, united the living members with those who had passed away. Departed relatives are remembered with great respect because they were responsible for laying the foundations for the fortune and glory of the family.The presence of the ancestors is acknowledged on New Year's Eve with a dinner arranged for them at the family banquet table. The spirits of the ancestors, together with the living, celebrate the onset of the New Year as one great community. The communal feast called "surrounding the stove" or weilu. It symbolizes family unity and honors the past and present generations. New year traditions generate from the myth of the Nian Dragon. It is believed the dragon comes and kills people and livestock and destroys all the crops. People leave food outside there homes for the dragon and wear red to scare him away. Each day in the 15 day celebrated after a Zodiac Animal or just creation in general.

opening the gates of hell
Day 1 "Birthday of Chicken- Welcoming the Gods, the oldest members will be visited, welcoming guests with tea and sweet treats, such as sugared fruits which are supposed to sweeten one’s upcoming year. The day symbolizes as well a new start in one’s life hope for prosperity and wealth

Day 2 "birthday of the DOg"- People offer sacrifices to Tsai Shen the God of Wealth and pray to there ancestors , people will visit there parents, eat wonton soup, and feed dogs and pets well

Day 3 "BIRTHDAY OF THE PIG" The third day of the New Year is allocated to grave-visiting instead. Some people conclude it is inauspicious to do any house visiting at all, as it is believed that evil spirits roam the earth this day and hence it would be bad luck to be outdoors. CHINESE BUSINESSES ARE CLOSED UNTIL THE 5TH DAY TO KEEP FREE FROM THE EVIL SPIRITS





DAY 8 " THE completion day"- the Fujian people have another family reunion dinner, and at midnight they pray to tian Gong the God of heaven

Day 9 - Make offerings to the Jade empire (Heaven)

Day 10-12- more eating and time with family and friends

Day 13-vegetarian food like rice and mustard greens are eaten to cleanse the digestive systems.

Day 14- "the Lantern Decaration day"- set up fro the lantern festival

Day 15 "the Lantern festival"- first night of the full moon, celebrated with oranges and lanterns, eat rice balls and sweet dumplings, it is celebrated to lead the lost spirits home

Traditions to keep ghost away
some families offer sacrifices to the ghost so the ghost wont harm them.
Some people set up prayers to appease the hungry ghost
Families burn fake money, paper tv sets, phones, and furniture

Folklore & Rituals
The moon Lady
women fold papers to resemble gold bars and stack them onto a paper boat
burned as a gift to moon lady ( Change E)

legend says the fire will transform the paper into a real boat and gold bars if the moon lady is satisfied
she will use it to travel to the moon where she will meet her husband, Hou Yi
Master archer of the skies

the more gold bars offered, the luckier the house becomes
Moon Farthest from the earth
Chinese emperors offer sacrifices to the moon
Mid-Autumn Festival
15th day of 8th lunar month
(typically around october)
Originated during the time of the Han Dynasty
202 BC - 220 ad

Emperor We Di
held "viewing of the moon" evening banquets

Traditional Decorations & Instruments
lantern lighting
the eve
Families & friends gather
eat little round cakes and sip tea & wine

the day of
Various Fruits & Moon cakes are offered from the early evening until midnight
5 plates of fruits & Several moon cakes
bring bright spring blossoms into the home
prepare traditional new years foods
firecrackers (a modern ideal)

Yuan Dynasty
1260 - 1368 AD
Mongolians ruled
Rebels would pass papers with revolutionary messages inside these cakes

*Moon Symbolizes

Peaches - bestowed longevity
Apples - Represented fertility
Grapes - Represented Fertility

Moon Cakes
Shaped like: horses, riders, fish, and other animals
5 fillings
sweet black bean
lotus seed
(lin yung)
fruit w/ meat & nuts
(gun tu)
yellow bean
(dou yung)
winter melon

by DonOvan Mahorn,Dariush Stein, Enzo Wright,
Austin Williams, and Jackie Cid

Chinese Holidays
The Dragon Boat Festival
Falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month
held annually for over 2,000 years
Honors the patriotic poet qu Yuan
Qu Yuan
supported the idea to fight the state of quin
was exiled by the king
wrote poems showing his passion/love to country
killed himself
The Dragon Boat Festival
locals heard of his death
fishermen went to river to receive his body
people threw food into the river so the fish would eat his body
Do dragon boat racing to symbolize themselves as the fishermen trying to get qu Yuan's Body
Dragon Boat racing is now a state sport competition
Moon Festival:
Natividad, Irene/Gall, Susan. The Asian-American Almanac. New York: Gale Research, 1995. Print.
Chen, Annie. “Traditional Chinese Festival: Mid-Autumn Festival”. China Travel Page. September 18, 2013. Website.
Dragon boat festival:
Barker, pat. Dragon boats: a celebration. ENGLAND: WEATHERHILL, 1996. PRINT.
wang, yue. "Introduction to dragon boat festival". November 12, 2013. Website
Chinese New Year:
Lederle, Cheryl “Chinese New Year Celebrations: Primary Sources Reflecting a Cultural Tradition” blogs.loc.gov January 29, 2013

“Chinese New Year Festivities”: The 15-Day Celebration of Chinese New Year, www.nationsonline.org, 10-Feb-2013

Winter Solstice Festival
"Traditional Chinese Festivals." Winter Solstice - China.org.cn. China.org, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
hungry ghost festival
Mack, Lauren . chineseculture.about.com chinesefestivals/a/Hungry-Ghost-Month-Hungry-Ghost-Festival.htm. 13 Nov. 2013.
Stephen F. Theiser, the ghost festival in meieval China (princeton princeton University press, 1988)
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