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Chinese Culture and Folklore

China boasts of her splendid written cultural history of over 5,000 years. Countless historical heritages sites such as the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, the Silk Road, the Ming Tombs testify the nation's rich and diversified ancient civilization. The Great Four Inventions of paper, movable-type printing, compass and gun-powder are the nation's ironclad proof of her invaluable contribution to the mankind. China's top navigator Zheng He's voyage into the Pacific and Indian Oceans was over 100 years earlier than those of Westerners like Columbus. Sun Zi's Art of War written by a crippled strategist Sun Bin over 2,000 years ago is recognized by the world to be an immortal monument governing military affairs, international relations, world economy and foreign trade. As a state present, Chinese President Hu Jing Tao awarded American President George Bush with a complete set of Art of War books.

Listed here is a list of major traditional festivals observed by the Chinese for centuries.

  1. Chinese New Year also called the Spring Festival (any time in or across January and February), is by far the most important. There are no fixed dates for this festival, as it is observed and celebrated according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
  2. The Mid-autumn Festival or the Moon Festival observed and celebrated on the fifteenth day of the 8th lunar month. It is a significant holiday for family reunion.
  3. The Dragon-boat Festival has been observed for thousands of years to commemorate the death of China's most revered poet and statesman Qu Yuan who lived over two thousand years ago. It falls on the fifth day of the 5th lunar month.
  4. Lantern Festival or the Chinese Valentine's Day which is amazingly several days away from the Georgian Valentine's Day ( the 14th February ).

China is a huge country with her 56 ethnic groups living together in harmony. Hence, there are also many festivals observed regionally or locally. For example, Nadamu Festival is celebrated in Inner Mongolia and other regions where Mongolian ethnic group live. Water-splashing Festival is observed by the Tai people in Yunan Province in southwestern China.