National Day: Chinese celebrate October 1st as National Day in honor of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.
Other national holidays: Spring Festival (the celebration of Chinese New Year, generally between the last 10-day period of January and mid-February) and International Labor Day (May 1).
Major holidays in China are occasions for family reunions and traveling. Starting in October 1999, China's three official holidays became "Golden Weeks" each with seven days vacation made possible by working four extra days before the commencement of the holiday and afterwards.
Under a government plan released at the end of 2007, China abolished the May Day "Golden Week" but kept the other two week-long holidays -- the National Holiday and the Spring Festival. The May Day holidays were distributed to traditional festivals including Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival in a bid to help carry forward Chinese history and culture and ease the burden of "Golden Weeks."
January 5-February 5
Ice-and-Snow Festival--An annual ice-and-snow festival in China, this wintertime spectacle offers a variety of entertainment activities, including an ice sculpture contest, ice lanterns, skiing, ice skating, outdoor swimming, hunting, dog-sled rides and art performances. There are about 1,300 ice sculptures on show and 36 teams from 18 countries participating in the contest. Venue: Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.
Rimed (Frosted) Landscape Festival--This festival gives tourists a chance to appreciate the unique beauty of rimed trees, ice lanterns, ice sculptures, fireworks, fashion shows and ice sports in Northeast China. Venue: Jilin, Jilin Province.
Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival--About 80 groups of ice lanterns, ice-and-snow sculptures and ice slides spread over 300 metres of the gorge. Colored lighting adds fun to evening visitors. The festival is held annually. Venue: Yanqing County, Beijing.
Spring Festival Flower Fair--Sightseeing on a 5-km-long stretch of streets in Guangzhou, complete with flower markets, goldfish, miniature landscapes and handicrafts. It takes place in China's southern city of Guangzhou, one of the warmest vastness and diversity of China. At a time when, China's northern climate is enough to freeze your nose off (about－25 degrees Centigrade in Harbin), the southern city of Guangzhou has a sea of flowers filling its streets and windows. Venue: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
February (Spring Festival)
International New Year Pictures Festival--The suburban counties of Tianjin are one of the major centers for traditional Chinese New Year pictures and posters. The exchange, sale and discussion of traditional woodblocks for New Year pictures is held annually to greet the lunar New Year. Venue: Tianjin.
Fuxi Temple Ceremonies--Ceremony of the sacrificial rites for Fuxi, the legendary ancestor of the Chinese people. Tourist activities include the playing of sheepskin drums and the enjoyment of other local arts typical of northwestern China. Venue: Tianshui, Gansu Province.
Buddhist Ceremony at Longwu Monastery--The Longwu Monastery in Tongren County holds a Buddhist ceremony accompanied by Tibetan dramas and dances, shehuo (traditional Han folk activities), dragon drumming, art exhibitions and trade activities. Venue: Tongren County, Qinghai Province.
Di Opera--A celebration of Di Opera, also called Anshun Opera since it is a local opera of Anshun, in China's remote Guizhou Province. Being the oldest folk drama in China, it is always staged in open fields and actors wear fancy wooden masks. Venue: Anshun, Guizhou Province.
Jinling Lantern Show--A Han-nationality festival, this one features lanterns, eating yuanxiao (sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour) and watching acrobatic performances at the ancient city's busiest old streets. The gathering has attracted over a million tourists and local residents in past years. Venue: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.
Lantern Festival--Making, displaying and viewing lanterns and other folk amusements in Changzhou, a newly and rapidly developing industrial city in the Yangtze Delta. It is a chance to see how the ordinary Chinese entertain themselves and others at the same time. Venue: Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.
February 18, May 16, October 17
Buddhist Ceremonies at Ta'er Temple--These are the dates for three of the four greatest religious ceremonies held each year at the temple, one of the six best-known Lama temples in China. The temple was built in the 16th century and is now greatly admired for its architecture, painting and culture. Tourists are scheduled to participate in Tibetan, Tu and Mongolian butter-sculpture exhibitions, the Sunning of the Buddha ceremony and other Buddhist activities. Venue: Huangzhong County, Qinghai Province.
Sugar-Coated Hawthorn Fair at Haiyun Buddhist Nunnery--This event includes a temple fair, tasting and making various sugared fruit (candied haws and other fruits), sampling local snacks, shopping, enjoying artistic performances and folk customs. Venue: Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Lusheng Festival--A Miao nationality festival featuring a lusheng (a reed instrument) contest, ethnic dancing, cockfights, horse-racing, antiphonal singing and other sports and recreational activities. The Miao people are known for their colorful costumes and lifestyles and Kaili is one of the most densely populated Miao areas in China. Venues: Kaili, Guizhou Province, and Rongshui, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
February 26 (15th day of the first lunar month)
Yu Garden Lantern Festival--This festival includes the displaying of traditional Chinese lanterns, palace lanterns, and various performances, as well as the showing of a galaxy of private calligraphy collections and paintings by ancient and modern artists. Built as a private garden in the 16th century, the Yu Garden is a famous garden in South China. With its contemporary hustle and bustle, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Shanghai. Venue: Shanghai.
Early February-early March
Zigong International Dinosaur Lantern Show-Zigong, widely known as the Land of the Dinosaur in Sichuan Province, holds a colorful lantern show annually with a dinosaur theme. Business talks and trade activities are planned at the same time. Venue: Zigong, Sichuan Province.
Munao Song and Dance Festival--A Jingpo festival that features group sword dancing, toasting, antiphonal singing and other ethnic folk arts and amusements. The Jingpo are one of the many ethnic minorities of China who live in the southwestern corner of the country. Mangshi and Wanding cities play an important role in linking cultural and business exchanges between China and Burma. Venue: Mangshi and Wanding, Yunnan Province.
Gaotai Fair--Tu, Hui and Tibetan gaotai (antiphonal singing), shehuo, drama and dance performances. There are 760000 Tibetans and 130000 Tu nationals living in Qinghai and they have long created a colorful ethnic culture and entertainment activities. Venue: Huzhu County, Qinghai Province.
Sword-Ladder Festival--Lisu performers climb a "sword-ladder" (many swords tied horizontally to a center pole), walk over hot coals, and engage in other thrilling activities. It is their special way of proving their bravery. Venue: Tengchong County, Yunnan Province.
Nantong International Kite Festival-Nantong City of Jiangsu Province is one of the four major kite-making areas in China. This festival is a chance for tourists to fly various South China kites and displays. The second-largest kite festival in China, it is second only to the Weifang Kite Festival held in North China. Venue: Nantong, Jiangsu Province.
Travel Trade Fair--An opportunity for tour operators to make friends and do business in the hot tourist triangle of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. There are travel fairs, visits to tourist attractions, and the exchange of past experience. Venue: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
Boat Fair--During this fair people perform plays on boats. Yangzhou used to be a prosperous city in ancient China and its rivers were made famous when the Qing Emperor Qianlong took a boat ride there. Special river cruise tours have been designed for tourists on the local rivers and the city's Slender West Lake. Venue: Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province. March
Chengdu Flower Fair--Flower show to celebrate the return of spring. Local performances, such as acrobatics and the tasting of local snack food, are planned for visitors to the fair. The snacks, almost all spicy and hot, belong to the famous Sichuan cuisine. Venue: Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
Emperor Yan's Birthday Celebration-Seminar on Emperor Yan, ancestor of Chinese people, a visit to Shennong Cave and its steles. Venue: Suizhou, Hubei Province.
Cultural Festival of the Song Dynasty Capital-This festival features the study of the history and culture of the Song Dynasty, food displays, and a Song Imperial Street Tour. The Song Street is a new reproduction of old-style downtown street of the Song Dynasty and is now popular as a tourist spot in the ancient city of Kaifeng. Venue: Kaifeng, Henan Province.
Hangzhou Tea Culture Seminar--A series of activities and seminars to introduce Chinese tea and tea culture. Zhejiang is one of major tea-growing areas in China and a tea museum was built there. Hangzhou has become a center of tea culture studies. Venue: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Weifang International Kite Festival-Launched in 1986, the Weifang International Kite Festival has become an annual event that draws more and more participants and tourists to this small city where kite-making is a tradition. Usually more than 10 international teams and individuals join the international and domestic kite competition. There are also long-distance folk tours around the city after the contest. Venue: Weifang, Shandong Province.
Root-Seeking and Ancestor-Worshipping Festival-Descendants of Shanxi natives who emigrated to other provinces or overseas years ago return to their ancestral land and hold memorial ceremonies for their ancestors. Venue: Hongtong County, Shanxi Province.April 5
Fireworks Festival--A Dong-nationality festival, this celebration includes the lighting and exploding fireworks, cock fighting and lusheng contests. The nationality celebrates this festival in April by setting off fireworks and enjoying ethnic activities. Venue:Sanjiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Ghost-City Temple Fair--This fair includes performances and events related to ghosts. The Ghost-City of Fengdu is built according to ancient Chinese legends and myths, reminding people that if you are evil in the human world you will be sent to the Ghost City to suffer a series of punishments. The punishments are illustrated in the temple by mud sculptures. Fengdu is also one of the scenic stops on the Yangtze River's Three Gorges tour.
Lanting Calligraphy Festival--Calligraphy demonstrations and exhibitions, poem recitations and wine-drinking. The festival is held in the hometown of many ancient Chinese literary and calligraphic giants and a visit to Shaoxing is both a sightseeing tour and cultural experience. Venue: Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province.
Ethnic Carnival--Hainan Island is often referred to as the Hawaii of the Orient as the two have many things in common. The Ethnic Carnival is a grand gathering of Li, Miao and other nationalities living on the second largest island of China. It includes a presentation of ethnic dances and martial arts, and a demonstration of handicraft making. Venue: Tongza, Hainan Province.
Cherry Blossom Tour--Planting cherry trees and viewing cherry blossoms are the highlight of this springtime festival. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms in parks in and around Wuxi. Available from April 5 to 15 the tour also features lessons in painting, sculpture, photography and clay figures, all with cherry flowers as a theme. Venue: Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.
Shaoxing Wine Festival--Shaoxing's Chinese wine is famous in China. A small pub in Shaoxing called the Xianheng Wine Shop is known to almost all Chinese because the man in a story written by China's literary giant Lu Xun used to drink at the pub very often. Now the pub has become the best-known tourist attraction in the small southern city. Tourist activities include savoring local rice wine, composing poems and painting while drinking wine, and watching folk-art performances. Venue: Shao-xing, Zhejiang Province.
Suzhou Classical Garden Art--The garden city of Suzhou hosts a seminar on the art of gardening, which includes visiting gardens and garden lantern shows, and enjoying local operas. Often referred to as the Venice of the Orient, Suzhou is known as a most beautiful southern Chinese city and is home of Chinese silk production. The gardening of Suzhou enjoys high prestige in ancient Chinese architecture and culture. Venue: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.
Zhejiang Folk Art Festival--Exhibition and sale of Dongyang wood sculptures and Huang-yang wood carvings in Wenzhou, Leqing silk paintings, Hangzhou silk paintings, and Zhejiang plastic hanging decorations. Hangzhou is also a beautiful city referred to since ancient times as a Heaven on Earth. Venue: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Peach Blossom Festival--This festival offers a chance to enjoy all kinds of peach blossoms and to visit botanical gardens and the former residence of Cao Xueqin, author of the Chinese novel A Dream of Red Mansions. The festival signifies the approach of spring and is one of the best times for outings in North China.
Yixing Ceramic Festival--Yixing is called China's pottery capital because of the wonderful pottery produced there. Tour programs include visiting ceramic workshops built in ancient style, watching the pottery-making process and learning about local folk customs. Venue: Yixing, Jiangsu Province.
Dai Nationality Water-splashing Festival--A time of unique fun and enjoyment in the sub-tropical area of China, mainly populated by the ethnic Dai people. They celebrate their New Year on the Dai calendar by splashing water on each other, to wash out the bad luck of the past and wish for a new start. Peacock dances, dragon-boat races, fireworks and some other Dai sports are held at the same time. Venue: Xishuangbanna and Dehong, Yunnan Province.
April 15 (third day of the third lunar month)
Zhuang Nationality Song Festival--A traditional festival of the Zhuang minority is held every year in several cities of the autonomous region. Programs include antiphonal singing, throwing silk balls and making colored eggs. Venue: Nanning, Liuzhou and Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Luoyang Peony Show--Luoyang boasts a fine selection of China's best peonies. It is also one of the most famous ancient Chinese capitals and the home of ancient Chinese civilization. It is a time for tourists to view flowers, visit museums of ancient tombs and the renowned Longmen Grottoes, one of the three best ancient grottoes in China. Venue: Luoyang, Henan Province.
April 12-May 3
Qingdao Flower Show--Tourists can enjoy the flowers, plant trees, shop and watch cultural performances in one of the country's most beautiful coastal cities. Venue: Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Dali Third-Month Fair--A Bai-nationality festival featuring local ethnic dances, horse-racing, dragon and iron dances and other Bai-nationality programs. Dali is one of the most beautiful scenic cities in Yunnan Province, featuring strong ethnic flavors. The fair is the most important holiday gathering for the local ethnic population. Venue:Dali, Yunnan Province.
Beijing Kite Festival--Held on the outskirts of Beijing each year, the Beijing International Kite Festival features a kite designing and flying competition as well as a kite exhibition. Venue: Mentougou District, Beijing.
Chen Family Memorial Fair--Memorial ceremonies for taijiquan masters of the Chen family, organized by their descendants, along with demonstrations of taijiquan and taiji sword, martial-art competitions and drumming. Venue: Chenjiagou, Wen County, Henan Province.
April 25 and October 4
Mazu Festival--This festival centers around the worship of Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. About 100 million people in the world are worshippers of Mazu, who saves the life of people at sea. The festival is held at the goddess' hometown in Fujian Province and draws thousands of tourists, especially people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Southeastern Asian countries. Venue: Meizhou, Fujian Province.
Longhua Temple Fair--A cultural event throughout April at the Longhua Temple in Shanghai. The fair features visiting markets, tasting local snacks, watching small-scale cultural performances and trade activities. Venue: Shanghai.
Heze Peony Show--This show offers tourists the opportunity to view millions of peonies. Heze County in Shandong Province, which boasts 67 hectares of peonies, becomes an attractive sightseeing site between late April and mid-May when it turns into an ocean of peony flowers.
Flower Drum Lantern Show--The show presents Han-nationality folk songs and dances-some over 4,000 years old and known as the oriental ballet. Venue: Huainan and Bengbu, Anhui Province.
Horse-Riding Mountain Fair--Held in Mid-May, this is a traditional celebration for local Tibetan people in Kangding, Sichuan Province. Besides sightseeing, other activities include picnics, song-and-dance shows, horse-racing and trading. Venue: Kangding, Sichuan Province.
Opening Ceremony of the Hangzhou West Lake Cultural Village-Exhibition of southern Chinese style potted landscapes, demonstrations of folk arts, visits to ancient-style streets, and sampling of local specialties. Venue: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Scholar Tree Festival--An opportunity to admire flowers on the scholar trees, enjoy cultural performances and sports, cultural exchanges, seafood barbecues, and a huaihua (scholar-tree blossom) banquet. Venue: Dalian, Liaoning Province.
Anguo International Herbal Medicine Festival--Highlights of this festival include visits to North China's largest herbal medicine market, trading, visits to the King of Herbs Temple and pharmaceutical factory, and tasting of medicinal cuisine. Venue: Baoding, Hebei Province.
May to October
Food Festival--This mouth-watering festival is all about sampling various Chinese cuisine and snacks, cooking competitions and cultural performances. Master chefs of various Chinese cuisine are flown into each of the following cities to make sure tourists can taste all major Chinese cuisine. This festival is a learning experience for the chefs as well as the gourmets. Venue: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guilin, Chengdu.
Shanghai Art Festival--One of China's biggest cultural events in the country's largest industrial city. A series of cultural performances of nationally and internationally famous operas, music and dance as well as international acrobatic contests are featured. Venue: Shanghai.
Chinese Rose Festival--A series of activities on the theme of the Chinese rose, including a large-scale flower exhibition, the Magpie Bridge Flower Fair, a rose contest and a kite competition.
Jiaojiang International Fishing Festival--A time to angle for saltwater fish, sample seafood and watch folk-art performances. Venue: Jiaojiang, Zhejiang Province.
Miluo River International Dragon Boat Festival--A time to celebrate with traditional dragon-boat racing, folk-art performances, and arts and crafts shopping. The festival is in memory of China's ancient political and literary giant, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Miluo River in protest against foreign aggression. Venue: Miluo, Hunan Province.
Water-Drinking Festival--A special festival for the people of Wudalianchi City, who have long believed in the medical effects of the local mineral water. Local residents gather at springs to drink mineral water, bathe in mineral water and watch artistic performances. For many visitors, it is a rare scene. Venue: Wudalianchi, Heilongjiang Province.
Corban-Muslims observe Corban in June. In Xinjiang's Kashigar area, 100,000 Muslims take part in this grand religious ceremony. Tourists can enjoy local folk songs and dance performances and buy special local products in the bazaars. Activities also include Muslim worship, 10000 people dancing the senam, and visits to local families. Venue: Kashigar, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Three Gorges Art Festival--Enjoy the early summer in China with dragon-boat racing, trade talks, and trips through the Yangtze River, Three Gorges and Shennong Stream. Venue: Yichang, Hubei Province.
Qingdao International Beer Festival--More than 30 Chinese and foreign breweries participate in this festival in the coastal city's Zhong-shan Park. A grand ceremony features a grand procession of floats and bands. Tourism activities also include appraising beer, beer exhibitions, drinking competitions, artistic performances and trade talks. Venue: Qingdao, Shandong Province.
Litchi Festival--Tourists can attend litchi-tasting parties and sales exhibitions, trade talks, fashion shows, artistic performances, horsemanship shows and tugs-of-war on the water. Venue: Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
End of June
Hangzhou Silk Cultural Festival--Hangzhou is one of the most important silk-producing centers in China for both quantity and quality. The festival will feature seminars on silk culture, the ribbon-cutting of a new silk museum and silk garment shows. Venue: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Great Wall and Nature Travel Month--Promotion of trekking, cycling or motoring along the Great Wall between the Shanhaiguan and Badaling, the Beijing section, which is a favorite with tourists. Shanhaiguan is the beginning of the ancient Great Wall of China while the other end is located at Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu Province in Northwest China. Venue: Shanhaiguan to Badaling.
Sixth-Lunar--Month Art Week-This week-long event features antiphonal singing of hua'er (ballads) of the Tu, Hui, Sala, Tibetan and Han nationalities. You can also enjoy folk sports from Qinghai, where many ethnic minorities live, and the local culture architecture and lifestyles. Venue: Xining, Qinghai Province.
Mt Jinggang Trade Fair and Travel Week--The week will include trade talks, exhibition of local products, photographs of Mt Jinggang, visits to scenic areas. Mt Jinggang is the birthplace of the modern Chinese revolution and is now a popular tourist attraction. Venue: Mt Jinggang, Jiangxi Province.
Garment Festival--This is the annual cultural and tourist highlight in the coastal city of Dalian. Each year, fashion designers from many countries will bring their latest pieces to display at the festival. Costume exhibitions, fashion shows, dress designing competitions, cultural shows and cruise parties are held during the festival.July
International Gliding Festival--An exhilarating show of gliders, towed gliding, slope gliding, sport plane flying and hot-air ballooning, and adventurous programs for overseas tourists at one of the most important ancient war passes on the Silk Road. Jiayuguan is also known for being the end of the ancient Great Wall of China. Venue: Jiayuguan, Gansu Province.
Dragon Boat Festival--The festival features rowing dragon boats, exchanging gifts among ethnic youth, releasing pigeons, and antiphonal singing between young men and women. Venue: Taijiang, Guizhou Province.
Mt Wutai International Travel Month--Mt Wutai is one of the most famous sacred sites of Buddhism in China. It is an ideal summer resort and boasts a group of ancient temples that offer Buddhist activities and tours of the surrounding mountain areas and monasteries. Venue: Mt Wutai, Shanxi Province.
Longyan Festival--Zhangzhou is famous for its longyan, a small juicy fruit similar to the litchi, and this festival offers tourists the best and freshest ones. A longyan trade fair will also be held during the festival. Venue: Zhangzhou, Fujian Province.August
Beijing International Beer Festival--A summer fun-and-drink session with the participation of world-renowned breweries. You can sample quality beer, get involved in drinking competitions and various artistic performances. Venue: Beijing.
Peninsula Summer--Liaoning International Culture and Art Festival. A 10000-person gala for local citizens and visitors from foreign sister-cities, which includes culture, art and science exchanges, trade talks, ball games, chess and climbing contests and sightseeing. Venue: Shen-yang, Liaoning Province.
Seventh-Month Buddhist Festival at Labrang Lamasery and Langshan--This festival includes religious and folk-custom activities, including reciting and debating Buddhist scriptures, horse-riding and evening parties on the grassland. The Labrang Lamasery is one of the six Lama temples in China and now has about 600 lamas working and studying there. Venue: Gansu Province.
Torch Festival--The festival focus on torch-burning ceremonies, which are believed to drive away evil and ensure happiness and prosperity. The Yi, Bai and Naxi nationalities celebrate the festival on the 24th day of the sixth lunar month each year. Drinking, wrestling, bull-fighting, horse-racing and archery competitions are held during the day. As night falls, people light torches and parade along mountain trails and village roads. Tourists can join the torch-lighting and the parade, singing and dancing to ethnic music. Venue: Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.
Sholdon Festival--Sholdon means dairy food in Tibetan. The festival is celebrated mainly in Lhasa where families spend a day or two in Norbulinka, the former summer palace of the Dalai Lama, sleeping in colorful tents, feasting on yogurt and tsamba (barley flour mixed with yak butter) and watching performances. Tourists can see Tibetan opera and the Sunning of the Buddha during the festival. Venue: Lhasa, Tibet.
Nadam Fair Grassland Tourism Festival--One of the biggest fairs for Mongolians, which attracts people not only from China but around the world to experience grassland life. The Mongolians hold competitions in wrestling, horse racing and archery. Other activities organized during the festival include eating Mongolian food, watching Mongolian dancing and shopping and trade fair. Venue: Inner Mongolia.
The Annual Chang'an International Calligraphy Fair--Calligraphy is among the most treasured activities in the cultural heritage of China and is becoming popular in many parts of the world. In Xi'an, an ancient capital city, the festival is held to help tourists to learn and appreciate the art. There are calligraphy exchanges, exhibitions and sales of the four treasures of the study, visiting the stone tablets and signing of autographs at the Wild Goose Pagoda. Venue: Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
Grape Festival--A festival of the Uygur and Han people in the northwestern corner of China during the grape harvest season. The festival is held in Turpan, called the City of Grapes. Tourists are taken on tours of grape farms where they can eat as much as they wish. Melon fairs, fruit streets, Uygur dancing and camel riding are other activities during the festival. Turpan is also called the Land of Fire as it is very hot, sometimes more than 40 degrees centigrade, in the summer. Venue: Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
August 25-September 25
Gong and Drum Festival--This is a grand spectacle of local arts. The Weifeng gong-and-drum performances go back 4000 years and once they start beating the gongs and drums, nothing can stop them.Venue: Linfen, Shanxi Province.
Tonghua Wine and Ginseng Festival--Tonghua is best known for two things-Wine and ginseng-and local travel companies have designed tours accordingly. During this festival, you can attend Buddhist ceremonies. Mt Jiahua is one of the four major Buddhist mountains in China and a national scenic spot covering an area of 334 square kilometers. There are now 78 existing temples with about 300 monks and nuns. Venue: Guichi, Anhui Province.
Enjoying the Mid--Autumn Moon on Mt Tai for Overseas Chinese-A program that includes recreating a Song Dynasty ritual on Mt Tai, praying at Xiwangmu Temple, poem recitations, campfires, and qigong demonstrations at Puzhao Temple. Venue: Tai'an, Shandong Province.
Mt Tai International Mountain Climbing Festival-Mount Tai is one of the most famous mountains in China. Climbing Mount Tai used to be very difficult until a cable car was built to reach the peak a few years ago. However, mountain climbers enjoy the challenge and still hold international competitions there annually. Tourists can try to climb Mount Tai and watch the reenactment of ancient imperial sacrificial rituals on Mount Tai. Venue: Tai'an, Shandong Province.
First Pomegranate Festival of Lintong--A chance to plant pomegranate trees, enjoy the flowers, taste local food, watch the Qin Dynasty Culture Show and learn more about the tourism of the area. Venue: Lintong, near Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
China Silk Festival--Features of this festival include going to China's best-known silk production city to visit the silk museum, learning about mulberry-silkworm raising, silk reeling, weaving and embroidery. Venue: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.
Ancient Culture and Art Festival--A special festival to promote China's ancient culture and civilization by offering visitors activities such as watching fireworks and performances, attending exhibitions of precious cultural relics, tasting local cuisine, and going to qigong and sports shows. Venue: Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
Tide-Watching Festival at Qiantang River--Thousands of people stand at the riverside at this time of the year to watch the rising tides on the Qiantang River. The Qiantang tide at this time of the year is said to be mysteriously magnificent. Tourists also have a chance to taste the river's fresh water crabs. Venue: Haining, Zhejiang Province.
International Shaolin Martial--Arts Festival-Shaolin martial arts, which really took shape during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD), were built from different foundations. Shaolin Temple, located in Henan Province, is the birthplace of this style of martial arts. The festival features martial arts competitions and demonstrations and travel activities, including qigong shows, free-style and sparring exercises, cruises on the Yellow River, folk art performances and trade and economic activities. Venue: Mt Song, Henan Province.
Ningxia International Yellow River Culture Festival--Started in 1991, the festival highlights local folk culture, which is a combination of the Islamic, Buddhist and secular cultures, and local economic development, which has long been nurtured by the Yellow River. Though a rather undiscovered tourist destination, the region boasts several scenic attractions. Tourist programs include cruises on the Yellow River, visits to historical relics, large-scale folk culture activities, ethnic minority dance and economic cooperation talks. Venue: Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
International Steam Locomotive Festival--A rare chance to see an old-fashioned locomotive factory in the city of Datong. The factory, which has stopped producing locomotives for sale, still attracts tourists from many countries. During the festival they can visit the Steam Locomotive Museum and ride on the old fashioned steam trains. Venue: Datong, Shanxi Province.
Mid Autumn Moon over Lake Tai--The Mid-Autumn Festival is the traditional Chinese festival for family reunions and thinking of loved ones. In the evening, people sit under the full moon and eat Chinese moon cakes. During the festival in Wuxi, people spend the evening on tranquil Lake Tai enjoying the moon and the fireworks. Then they attend folk activities and taste the famous Wuxi rice-and-fish cuisine. Venue: Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.
International Forestry Festival--Fall is the best season to visit one of the country's best natural wonders in the Wulingyuan scenic area, which is famous for wild mountain peaks and primitive forests. Besides sightseeing, visitors can attend seminars on forest protection and utilization, as well as the exhibition and sale of forest products. Venue: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province.
September 26-October 3
Hangzhou West Lake Osmanthus Festival--During this osmanthus festival, visitors can walk along the 10-li (5-kilometre) Osmanthus Corridor, tasting special local food made with osmanthus and enjoying folk operas, songs and dances. Venue: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
September 26-October 10
International Confucian Culture Festival--An annual festival in Qufu held in memory of one of China's greatest philosophers and educators. Visitors can see a recreation of an ancient memorial ceremony for Confucius and take educational tours of Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius. Venue: Qufu, Shandong Province.
World Tourism Day--China holds grand ceremonies each year in different cities and many tour operators and tourism officials in the world are invited to join the celebrations, sightseeing exhibitions, artistic performances and sports activities. Venue: Beijing.
End of September-early October
Golden-Autumn Flower Fair and Gourmet Festival-Yangzhou was a prosperous city in ancient China and is the birthplace of Huaiyang cuisine, one of the four major Chinese cuisine. Besides going to large-scale flower fairs and lantern shows, tourists can taste authentic Huai-yang food prepared by local master chefs. Venue: Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province.
Shanghai Osmanthus Festival--This is the season when the osmanthus blooms fill the air with a strong fragrant scent. The city offers you a chance to appreciate the beautiful osmanthus, taste osmanthus food; watch artistic performances, and participate in a masquerade ball. Venue: Shanghai.
Chestnut Festival at the Great Wall--This is a mountain products fair two hours drive away from Beijing. Tourist programs include ancient opera and mock-military games on the Huangyaguan section of the Great Wall. Chestnut, the main mountain product, is in season and visitors can go into the field to pick the nuts or plant trees and visit farmers' homes. Venue: Tianjin.
Jingchu Culture and Art Festival--Tourists can attend a Jingchu culture exhibition, visit ancient China's political and literary giant Qu Yuan's birthplace, row Chinese dragon boats and take a cruise through part of the Yangtze River gorges. Venue: Wuhan, Jiangling and Zigui, Hubei Province.
Tonglu Chinese Medicine Festival--A good time to learn and buy traditional Chinese medicines as rare and famous Chinese herbal medicine exhibitions are be held then. Doctors and scholars gather for academic exchanges while ordinary visitors can enjoy folk-art performances or health consultations and treatment. Venue: Tonglu, Zhejiang Province.
China Jimuo Old Wine Festival--Learn to appreciate central China's wines and attend an aged-wine fair. The festival also includes art performances, trade talks and activities centering on special produce. Venue: Jimuo, Shandong Province.
Mountain-Climbing Festival--Join in a mountain-climbing race, or taste Changshu's four-treasure banquet. Venue: Changshu and Yushan, Jiangsu Province.
Ma'anshan International Poetry Recitation--An opportunity to go mountain-climbing and tasting wine, or to write poems, and visit the great poet Li Bai's Memorial Hall. Venue: Ma'anshan, Anhui Province.
China West Lake Fine Arts Festival--A series of activities featuring Chinese painting, oil painting, water color painting, gouache painting, polished lacquer painting, art performances and exhibitions held at the scenic city of Hangzhou, known for its West Lake. Venue: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.October 9-11
Cangzhou Martial-Arts Festival--Cangzhou is a hometown of Chinese kungfu and many kungfu lovers from Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong go there to study it. The festival offers a series of martial-arts demonstrations, including a free-style exercise and an open martial-arts contest. Venue: Cangzhou, Hebei Province.
International Pottery and Porcelain Festival at Jingdezhen--The country's best known capital of pottery and porcelain, Jingdezhen pottery and porcelain products are exported to most countries in the world. Tourists are welcome to visit the masterpiece exhibition, archaeological and pottery exhibitions and join a porcelain study tour or trade talks. Venue: Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province.
Double-Ninth Festival (Ninth day of the ninth lunar month)--The festival features mountain climbing, viewing chrysanthemums, kite flying, tasting chrysanthemum wine and festive cakes. Venue: Beijing and Ji'nan, Shandong Province.
Mt Putuo Buddhist Ceremonies--Mt Putuo is one of the four most famous Buddhist mountains in China. Located on a small island in the East China Sea, the place has nice beaches and scenery, but is best known for its temples. Programs for visitors include mountain-climbing, praying for happiness and attending Buddhist rituals. Venue: Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province.
Ancient Capital Chrysanthemum Show--This is a show where you can enjoy chrysanthemums displayed by urban households on the streets of the ancient capital of Kaifeng. Venue: Kaifeng, Henan Province.
Folk Song Festival--A Yao Festival featuring singing of love songs in antiphonal style, drinking wine, parade of ancestors'name tablets and worshiping. Venue: Liannan, Guangdong Province.
Panwang Festival--A Miao festival, featuring the beating of the long drum, worshiping ancestors, ethnic singing and dancing. Venue: Jinxiu, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Plum Blossom Festival--Tourists can visit the area to see a sea of plum blossoms in a 70,000-hectare garden. Meanwhile, local artists write poems or paint pictures related to plum blossoms. Venue: Jiangxi Province.
Viewing Migratory Bird Week in Jiujiang-The special geographic and climatic conditions make Boyang Lake the world's largest migratory winter resort. The lake is part-time home to about 150 rare birds and the number of the birds is increasing. Tourists watch the birds from high points of land and from ships. Venue: Jiujiang, Jiangxi Province.
End of December
Chaoshan Gourmet Festival--Known as the Land of Plenty along the seashore, Chaozhou is famous for its cuisine, which is characterized by skillful presentation of seafood, exquisite selection of materials and distinctive flavors. The festival offers visitors a chance to sample Chao-shan and Shantou cuisine and snacks. Venue: Shantou, Guangdong Province.
Bell-tolling on New Year's Eve--Witness the arrival of the New Year by listening to the bell-tolling in the famous Hanshan, Dazhong, and Longhua temples across China. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese and foreigners gather at these famous temples to wish each other good luck for the coming year. Venue: Suzhou, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai. (China Yearbook 2004)