University English: the blog for ESL students

May 12, 2014

Chinese Festivals

Filed under: student presentations — richardlstansfield @ 2:34 am

1. class 57, group 1, 정진주, 김의래, 마야, 임성찬
2. Glossary
a. commemorate: [verb] to do something to show you remember an important person or event in the past with respect
b. jujube: small yellowish flowers and dark red edible fruits See also Christ’s-thorn
c. lotus: [noun] a type of tropical water lily (= a plant with large, flat leaves that float on the surface of lakes and pools)
d. petal: [noun] any of the usually brightly coloured parts that together form most of a flower
e. serenity: (NOUN)
serene: [adjective] peaceful and calm; worried by nothing:

3. Text
We will introduce to four major holidays in China. There are Spring Festival(春节), Qing Ming Festival(淸明節), Dragon Boat Festival(端午節), Mid-autumn Festival(仲秋節).
First, Spring Festival is January 1 of the lunar calendar. Usually, From December 23 to January 15. This festival is the most important festival of the year. 春節 means new spring, because the season, spring is beginning of farming. So Chinese thanks ancestor and wish the harvest.
To congratulate festival, People make and eat dumplings. Some district eat a Gnocchi and rice cake instead of dumplings. And people walk with lamp. To prepare festival, The December 31, New Year’s Eve, they eat Year Yefan and play mahjong with the family.

Secondly, Tomb-sweeping Day is 104th day after the winter solstice and 5th of 24season and when the solar longitude of 15 degreeds and about March of the lunar calendar, around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar ancestral customs to be caring for graves.
When Tomb-sweeping Day, we grave to ancestral grave and stick to the head of wilow branches, have convention that going to suburb to step out green grass.
Chinese people tribute to deceased ancestors.
So, when Tomb-sweeping Day is coming, every people clean out their ancestor’s grave that are in cemetery and sacrifice to forgo. Often, people get rid of weeds around the grave or add some soil to grave and fumigate. And dress up food for fathers memorial tribute to the display of the passions. This is calld “Sangbun” or “Somyo”
And, when Tomb-sweeping Day, people go picnic to suburbs, it is called “Dapcheong”, and a customary that holds a willow branches is called “Sapryu”
This is why people think that when they hold a willow branches, they can chase away ghosts and calamity. So people wish peace and happiness with holds a willow branches around their heads.
The Dragon Boat Festival ,the 5th day of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar,has had a history of more than 2,000 years. It is usually in June in the Solar calendar.
The origin of this summer festival centers around a scholarly government official named QuYuan. He was a good and respected man, but because of the misdeeds of jealous rivals he eventually fell into disfavor in the emperor’s court. [1]
Unable to regain the respect of the emperor in his sorrow,Qu Yuan threw himself into the Mi Luo river on the fifth day of the fifth month. People were sad over the patriotic poet’s death. They tossed rice and meat into the river to feed the fish, which would protect Qu’s body.[2]
The customs vary a lot in different areas of the country in Chinese.
Probably the most exciting and interesting aspect of the festival is the racing of the Dragon Boats. These races not only symbolize the people’s attempt to save Qu Yuan, they also demonstrate the Chinese virtues of cooperation and teamwork.[3] Another activity of the Festival is the making and eating of a kind of dumpling called zongzi . When it became known that Qu Yuan was gone forever, the people, living along the river, threw cooked rice into the water as a sacrifice to their dead hero. They wrapped rice in bamboo leaves, and stuffed it with ham, beans, bean paste, salted egg, sausages, nuts, or vegetables. [4]
~《Rice dumpling》
The day of the Dragon Boat Festival is customarily the time when cleaning and sanitation are stressed. Most families hang calamus and artemisia above their doors, both as a decoration and as a preventive against pestilence. [5] During the Dragon Boat Festival, the sachets are very popular with people. Carry the small spice bag around with you, it not only drives away evil spirits but also brings fortune and happiness to those who wear it. The small bags are usually hand-made by local craftsmen. [6] In one word, all of the activities are to protect themselves from evil and honor the poet Qu Yuan.
The Dragon Boat Festival is an entertaining and enjoyable event. It gives the observer an opportunity to glimpse a part of the rich Chinese cultural heritage.
Lastly, I’m going to introduce Mid-autumn day. Each Korea, China, and Japan celebrates this day in different ways which is very important in North East Asia. It is one of the major holidays and the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. The word ‘mid-autumn day’ was first remarked in the 12th century B.C in a book which is the Rites of Zhou. There are several legends of the origin of it. One of them says, it was the day of memorial service performed by her husband for Mrs. Chang-a who lived in the moon to be close to her beloved husband after unwantedly becoming a god, This ceremony commemorates good harvest of the year and the happiness of the household. On the day, people eat fruits such as watermelon that have round shape or moon-cake, which stands for the moon and means unity. [7]
Nowadays the Mid-autumn day in China is still one of the 4 biggest national holidays, however it is not considered as big as Korean counterpart, Korean Thanksgiving day. The Chinese custom disappeared remaining the family reunion having the moon-cake together and praying for their bliss.
Thank you all.

4. References
[1] 《屈原转》~《Qu Yuan’s biography》
[2] 《粽子的由来》~《origin of the rice dumplings》
[3] baidu,knowledgebase
[4] 《粽子.》
[5] 《端午习俗》~《Custom of the Dragon Boat Festival》
[6] 《端午习俗》~《Custom of the Dragon Boat Festival》



5. Discussion Questions
1. What’s your favorite holiday in china? Why?
2. Do you know other public holidays in other countries?
3. What’s your favorite food eaten at Chinese public holidays?


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: