Chinese Festivals and Holidays

The Chinese observe a wide variety of traditional and modern holidays, based both on the lunar and solar calendars. The traditional Chinese calendar was based on a lunar cycle-- that is, dates following the regular appearance of the full moon. Even so, the equinox and solstice were essential for determining seasons in China's agrarian society. With the inter-national use of the Gregorian Calendar, some modern holidays, such as the birthdays of national leaders, are based on that.

Major holidays celebrated in China, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities are marked in bold, with this year's corresponding Gregorian dates in parenthesis.

Lunar Holidays and Birthdays

1st Moon  
DAY 1 Chinese New Year (Feb 14, 2010)
DAY 9 Birthday of the Jade Emperor
DAY 15 The Lantern Festival (Feb 28, 2010)
2nd Moon  
DAY 2 The Dragon-Head-Raising Festival(Birthday of Tudigong, Lord of the Earth)
DAY 3 Birthday of Wenchang, God of Literature
DAY 15 Birthday of Lao Zi, Founder of Taoism
DAY 19 Birthday of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy
3rd Moon  
DAY 3 Birthday of Xuantian Shangdi, God of Rain
DAY 23 Birthday of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea
4th Moon  
DAY 4 The Hanshi ( Cold Meal ) Festival
DAY 8 Birthday of Siddhartha, Founder of Buddhism
DAY 14 Birthday of Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals
DAY 18 Birthday of Huato, Patron Saint of Medicine
5th Moon  
Day 5 Dragon Boat Festival(June 16, 2010)
6th Moon  
DAY 6 Aunt's Day / The Tian Zhu Day
DAY 24 Birthday of Guan Gong, God of Warriors
7th Moon (Ghost Month)
DAY 7 Double-Seven Day
DAY 15 Hungry Ghost Festival
DAY 30 Birthday of Dizang Wang, King of the Underworld
8th Moon  
DAY 15 Mid-Autumn Festival    (Sep 22, 2010)
DAY 16 Birthday of Sun Wugong, the Monkey King
DAY 27 Birthday of Confucius
9th Moon  
DAY 9 Double Ninth Day
10th Moon  
DAY 1 The Ancestors' Sacrifice Festival (Sending off the Winter Clothes)
DAY 5 Birthday of Damo, founder of Chan Buddhism
12th Moon  
DAY 8 Celebration of Siddhartha achieving enlightenment
DAY 23 Kitchen God reports to the Jade Emperor

Solar Holidays and Birthdays

April 4, 5, or 6 Qingming Festival/Tomb Sweeping Day
September 28 Teacher's Day (Taiwan -- Confucius' Birthday)
October 1 National Day (People's Republic of China)
October 10 National Day (Taiwan -- "Double Tenth")