Category:Taoist Seasonal Festivals

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Chinese festival celebrations are punctuated by street parades, marked by special foods, and feature ritual observances; shown here are members of a parade group in costumes depicting The Three Star Gods in the foreground and the Monk and Pigsy from "The Journey to the West" in the background

The major Taoist seasonal festivals mark the progression of the year. Their dates derive from the Chinese lunisolar calendar, and they mark special holidays and commemorative rituals within China and among Chinese Taoist influences cultures in Asia and among the diasporic Chinese people in various non-Asian nations, such as the United Kingdom and the United Sates. Although they are based in indigenous religious practices of the past, they are generally seen as being open and welcoming to people of all religions and all cultures, as they usually take place in public spaces and are accompanied by colourful street parades, music, dance, and special foods.

There are many local, seasonal, and commemorative festivals in China. Some have connections to Taoist Deities and some are nationalistic rather than seasonal in character, but the following six ancient festivals, which originated within Taoist tradition, are widely celebrated wherever Chinese Taoists or people of Chinese descent have settled, regardless of their nationality.


Chun Jie: Spring Festival, Chinese New Year

For more information, see: Chun Jie, Chinese Lunar New Year

A Dragon dance at the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, California, the largest Asian event in North America
Lantern Festival at the Wuhou Temple, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Tomb Sweeping Day or Ching Ming in Prachinburi, Thailand
Dragon Boat Festival races in Hong Kong; photo by kawing921

Chun Jie ("Spring Festival") or Chinese New Year is the first day of the first month of the lunisolar calendar year. It is one of the most popular holidays in the world, and it lasts for two weeks, only ending with the arrival of the Lantern Festival. A common holiday greeting to bring luck for the New Year is "Gong Hei Fat Choy" (literally "Wish Happiness Develop Fortune" -- which carries the meaning of "Wishing You Happiness and Prosperity for the New Year") With each Lunar New year, a new animal of the Chinese Zodiac is celebrated.

Shang Yuan Jie: The Lantern Festival

For more information, see: Shang Yuan Jie, The Lantern Festival

Shang Yuan Jie ("First Full Moon of the Year"), also known as The Lantern Festival or Chinese Lantern Festival, is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month -- that is, on the first Full Moon after the Spring Festival. It marks the closure of the two weeks of the waxing Moon Chinese New Year holiday and commemorates the birth of the Taoist god Tian Guan, the Heavenly Official who bestows happiness and is associated with the star Zeta Taurii in the constellation of Taurus.

Ching Ming Jie: Tomb Sweeping Day

For more information, see: Ching Ming Jie, Tomb Sweeping Day

Ching Ming Jie ("Tomb Sweeping Festival") or Tomb Sweeping Day is a Taoist memorial day on which people visit the burial sites of their ancestors. There are two ways to count it on the calendar: it is the 104th day after the Winter Solstice, or the 15th day after the Spring Equinox. In secular terms, this means that it takes place on April 4th, 5th, or 6th in any given year. The tombs and graves are swept, and offerings are presented to the deceased, but participants do not cook, and only cold dishes are served.

Duan Wu Jie: The Dragon Boat Festival

For more information, see: Duan Wu Jie, The Dragon Boat Festival

Duan Wu Jie ("Starting Five" -- the fifth month), also known as Lóng Zhou Jie ("Imperial Boat Festival" or The Dragon Boat Festival, takes place on the 5th day of the 5th month. It commemorates the life of Qu Yuan, a member of the Zhou Dynasty who worked to put an end to corruption. His opponents forced him out of office, his reforms failed, the Zhou dynasty fell, and Qu Yuan committed suicide by jumping into a river. During the festival, people race dragon boats.

Zhong Yuan Jie: The Hungry Ghost Festival

Zhong Yuan Jie ("Middle Ghost Month Festival") or The Hungry Ghost Festival, is held on the 15th night of the 7th month. It is shared with those of the Buddhist faith, who call it Yulanpen Jie ("Festival of the Offering Vessel for Relief from Suffering") At this time both Taoists and Buddhists perform rituals to honour the the deceased and avert their suffering by presenting them with food offerings, lighting incense, and burning joss paper or spirit money for their prosperity in the afterlife.

Zhong Qiu Jie: The Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival

Zhong Qiu Jie ("Middle of Autumn Festival") also known as The Mid-Autumn Festival, The Moon Festival or The Moon Cake Festival, is celebrated on the night of the 15th day of the 8th month at the Full Moon, which takes place in September or October in the Gregorian calendar. In celebration of Chang'e, the Moon goddess, this harvest festival is second only to the Lunar New Year in importance. Yue Bing or Moon Cakes, filled with duck egg yolks, meat, sweet bean paste, or lotus-seed paste, are traditionally eaten at this time.


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Pages in category "Taoist Seasonal Festivals"

The following 4 pages are in this category, out of 4 total.




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