The traditional festivals of China come from remote antiquity, and are the carrier of traditional culture that has accumulated for thousands of years. Each festival has its own historical origin, unique feature and profound populace foundation. The various customs of traditional festivals display the Chinese nation’s traditional habits, moralities and its anticipation of a good life, and thus have strong cohesion and great inclusiveness.
The Spring Festival, the Duanwu Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival are three major traditional festivals of China. In addition, the Lantern Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Double Seventh Festival, the Double Ninth Festival, the Laba Festival, etc. are also important festivals of the Chinese people.
春节是农历的正 (zhēnɡ) 月初一，是中国的农历新年，民间也叫“过年”。在中国的传统节日中，这是一个最重要、最热闹的节日。因为过农历新年的时候，正是冬末，春季将到，所以人们就把这个节日叫“春节”。中国人过春节有很多传统习俗。从腊月（农历十二月）二十三日起，人们就开始准备过年了。在这段时间里，家家户户要大扫除，买年货，贴窗花，挂年画，写春联，蒸年糕，做好各种食品，准备辞旧迎新。春节的前夜叫“除夕”。除夕之夜，是家人团聚的时刻。一家人围坐在一起，吃一顿丰盛的年夜饭，说说笑笑，直到天亮，这叫守岁。除夕零点一过，人们还要吃饺子。过了除夕就是大年初一。从初一开始，人们要走亲戚、看朋友，互相拜年。拜年是春节的重要习俗，拜年时，大家都要说一些祝愿幸福、健康的吉祥话，孩子还能收到大人给的“压岁钱”。放爆竹是春节期间最喜欢的活动。传说燃放爆竹可以驱妖除魔，所以每年除夕之夜，到处就响起接连不断的爆竹声，阵阵烟花，声声爆竹，给节日增添了喜庆和热闹的气氛。
Spring Festival falls on the first day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar, and celebrating the traditional Chinese New Year is colloquially known as “Guonian.”Among all the traditional Chinese festivals, this is the most important and the most bustling. The Spring Festival gets its name as it occurs at the end of winter and at the beginning of spring. Chinese have many traditional customs relating to the Spring Festival. Since the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, people start to prepare for the event. Every family will undertake thorough cleaning, do their Spring Festival shopping, make paper cuts for window decorating, put up New Year pictures, write Spring Festival couplets, make New Year cakes and prepare all kinds of food to bid farewell to the old and usher in the new. The New Year’s Eve is a time for happy reunions among all family members, when they sit around the table to have a sumptuous New Year’s Eve dinner, talking and laughing, until daybreak, which is called “staying up to see the year out.” When the bell tolls midnight on the New Year’s Eve, people eat jiaozi . The day after the New Year’s Eve is just the first day of the lunar year. From that day on, people pay New Year calls on relatives and friends, which is an important custom for the Spring Festival. During the visit, people wish happiness and health to each other with auspicious words and children receive “yasui money” as gifts from adults. Setting off firecrackers is children’s favorite activity in the Spring Festival. A legend goes that this could drive off evil spirits. From the New Year’s Eve on, the continuous sound of firecrackers can be heard everywhere, adding the atmosphere of rejoicing and festivity.
The Spring Festival has changed greatly these decades, but foreverit is the most important festival in the minds of Chinese people both in China and in every corner of the world. On the advent of the Spring Festival each year, people far from their hometown will travel long distances to join their families no matter how busy they are.