Lantern Festival

Yuanxiao Festival, also known as the Lantern Festival, an important traditional Chinese festival, which is on the 15th of the first lunar month. It marks the end of 15-day Chinese new year celebration. The date in the Western calendar changes annually; and in 2012, the festival falls on February 24.

The first month of the Chinese lunar calendar is called yuan month, and in ancient times people called night xiao. On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, it is the first night to see a full moon after the New Year. Thus, the day is called “Yuanxiao Festival”. Yuanxiao, named after the festival, is an indispensable dish for celebration. There are small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with sugar fillings. In south China, the food is also called “Tangyuan”. The name has a similar pronunciation with “tuanyuan”, meaning reunion. Chinese people believe the round shape of the balls and the bowl where they are served, comes to symbolize family togetherness, and that eating yuanxiao may bring the family happiness and good luck in the new year.

Tangyuan,Chinese festival food

Tangyuan, or glutinous rice balls

According to Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. Also, Chinese people celebrate it as Lantern Festival. On the night, people go to streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon. The bright lanterns were symbolic of good luck and hope. Children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets, extremely excited. A fun activity for all ages is to solve riddles attached to lanterns. The person who can answer gets a small prize.

Lantern Festival

Visitors walk in a lanterns-decorated street to appreciate.

As the time goes by, more activities are added on the Lantern Festival, like dragon dance, lion dance, land boat dance, yangge dance, and walking on stilts, etc. people get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.

The 11th Guilin Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival 2013

The 11th Guilin Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival will be held in Daling Mountain Peach Garden, from Feburary 18 to March 20, 2013. This year’s festival is themed around “Beautiful Gongcheng, where the peach trees are in full bloom”. Visitors, not just for sightseeing, can experience Yao minority customs through various interesting activities.

Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival,Guilin

Visitors appreciate the blooming of peach blossom

Usually, the flower festival starts early march, when peach blossom are abloom all over the mountain. This year, the flowers bloom 15 to 20 days earlier than normal time for the warm weather. In the peach garden, there is a 2,000 metres peach-tree-lined road for visitors to appreciate the blooming of the flowers. Young single people also seize this festival to immerse themselves in the romantic flowers, wishing to boost their year-round love luck. Chinese people believe that the peach blossoms give good fortune when it comes to romance.

Gongcheng oil tea,Guilin

Gongcheng oil tea

Together with the Guilin Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival, there is another festival held concurrently in Gongcheng – the 3rd Guilin Gongcheng Oil Tea Culture Festival. Oil tea is a special tea drinking of the Yao people, with beautiful color, strong smell, and tasty flavor.

During the month-long festival, visitors can admire the blossom sea, sip peach blossom wine, sing with the locals, join the Yao dance, and taste the special food.

Time: From Feburary 18 to March 20 in 2013
Place: Daling Mountain Peach Garden, Xiling Township, Gongcheng County, Guilin, Guangxi

Chinese New Year Celebration

The Spring Festival, which begins on February 10 this year, marks the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. It serves as an important occasion for family reunions, just like Christmas in the West. According to tradition, Chinese New Year celebration formally starts on Lunar New Year’s Eve and ends with the Lantern Festival that falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

Chinese New Year Celebration

Family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve

A family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve is a most important event of celebration. On this day, all family members gather in reunion at a round table filled with traditonal dishes. A dish consisting of fish will appear on the tables of all Chinese families, which symbolizes surplus or success. After dinner, people make dumplings to eat around midnight in northern China. In the south, it is customary to make a glutinous new year cake. At midnight, people set off firecrackers to scare off evil spirits and welcome the new year.

The first day of Chinese New Year is a time to honor senior members of the family. After getting up in the morning, people typically wear new clothes from head to toe and pay visits to their parents or grandparents. Those who are married give red envelopes containing cash to youngsters as a form of blessing.

Chinese New Year Celebration

paying New Year visit

On the second day, married woman, along with her husband, pay respect to her birth parent and relatives.

The fifth day is regarded as the birthday of the God of Wealth. People stay home to welcome the God of Wealth into their homes. In some pleaces, business people re-open their businesses and let off firecrackers in the attempt to get the attention of the God of Wealth, for a good fortune of the new year.

Chinese New Year Celebration

Lantern Festival

The fifteenth day of the new year is celebrated as Yuanxiao Festival or the Lantern Festival, when people eat yuanxiao, sweet glutinous rice balls brewed in a soup, and families walk the streets carrying lighted lanterns. The day brings the 15-day Chinese new year celebration to an end.