2018 Chinese Holidays

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Chinese holidays tend to be roving targets because they’re based on the Chinese lunar calendar. The most significant Chinese dates for this year are:

February 16, 2018

march 2

April 5

june 18

August 17

august 25

september 24

October 17

December 22
Chinese New Year (Year of the dog)

Lantern Festival (marking the end of the Chinese New Year celebration)

Qing Ming, Clear Brightness Festival

Dragon Boat Festival

Double Seventh Day

Hungry Ghosts Festival

Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival

Chong Yang

Winter Solstice


Chinese New Year is a time of new beginnings and intentions. Families sit down to feast on foods of good fortune once the clutter of the home, finances, and even the mind is cleared for a time of reflection, recognition, and renewal.

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Qing Ming
It’s a traditional Chinese belief that a person’s good fortune is directly linked to the happiness of one’s ancestral spirits. The best time to secure the family’s elders’ joy is during the Clear Brightness Festival, also known as Qing Ming (pronounced “Ching Ming”). It’s a springtime holiday around April 4-6, or 106 days following the winter solstice, that acknowledges the dead in a cemetery ritual. Qing Ming is a Chinese holiday that corresponds to the Gregorian calendar.

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Dragon Boat Festival
Qu Yuan, one of China’s most impassioned poets from over two thousand years ago, lives on through the insistent beat of a dragon boat’s drum, the synchronization of a crew, and the roar of a crowd during the Dragon Boat Festival. The fifth day of the fifth lunar month, also known as Double Fifth, is the second of three Chinese festivals that are widely celebrated and designated for the living. (The others are Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival.)

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Double Seventh Day draws on the romantic Chinese folktale of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden. On Seven-Seven, these clandestine lovers, eternally separated from one another except on this one night, are reunited by a bridge of magpies. Although the festival of Seven-Seven is not widely observed in America, it’s a holiday full of ritual to satisfy the heart’s romantic desires.

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Festival of Hungry Ghosts
According to the Chinese almanac, the gates of the underworld are opened on the seventh month, releasing the hungry ghosts to roam the earth on holiday. To pacify these forgotten souls, the Chinese provide offerings to them on the fifteenth day (Seven-Fifteen), during the Festival of Hungry Ghosts. It’s a Chinese version of All Souls’ Day, when the living appease the ghosts with a feast all their own.

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The Festival of the Mid-Autumn Moon is celebrated on the eighth lunar month, fifteenth day (Eight-Fifteen), which typically falls in September on the solar calendar. It’s a Chinese holiday of thanksgiving when wishes are sent to the Moon Goddess, moon cakes are shared after a family dinner, and the year’s brightest moon is worshipped.

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Double Ninth Day is the ninth lunar month, ninth day, and is known as Chong Yang, which means “Day of the Double Sun.” It represents the end of autumn, a season the lunar calendar places in the seventh, eighth, and ninth months. Like many Chinese holidays practiced to beckon good fortune, Double Ninth focuses on advancing success, inviting long life, and escaping danger.

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The Winter Solstice is a time when Chinese families gather for dinner to give thanks at the end of the year. The featured food item is tang yuan, rice flour dumplings that can either be served “salty” in a soup, or “sweet” as a dessert because sharing and eating tang yuan symbolizes reunion.

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