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              Laba Festival
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

              Laba FestivalLaba Festival (là bā jié 臘八) is celebrated on the eighth day of the last lunar month, referring to the traditional start of celebrations for the Chinese New Year. "臘"(là) in Chinese means the 12th lunar month and "八"(bā)  means eight.

              The majority Han Chinese have long followed the tradition of eating Laba rice porridge on the Laba Festival. The date usually falls in mid-January.

              Laba rice porridge (là bā zhōu 臘八粥) was first introduced to China in the Song Dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝) about 900 years ago.

              Buddhism was well accepted in the areas inhabited by the Han Chinese, who believed that Sakyamuni (shì jiā móu ní 釋迦牟尼), the first Buddha and founder of the religion, attained enlightenment on the eighth day of the twelfth month. Sutras (fó jīng 佛經) were chanted in the temples and rice porridge with beans, nuts and dried fruit was prepared for the Buddha. With the passing of time the custom extended, especially in rural areas where peasants would pray for a plentiful harvest in this way.

              Double Ninth Festival
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

              Double Ninth FestivalThe 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chongyang Festival (chóng yáng jié 重陽節), or Double Ninth Festival.

              It usually falls in October in the Gregorian calendar. In an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing (yì jīng 易經), or The Book of Changes, number "6" was thought to be of Yin (yīn 陰)?character, meaning feminine or negative, while number "9" was thought to be Yang (yáng 陽), meaning masculine or positive. So the number nine in both month and day create the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival. Chong in Chinese means "double." Also, as double ninth was pronounced the same as the word to signify "forever", both are "Jiu Jiu" (jiǔ jiǔ 九九), the Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why ancient Chinese began to celebrate this festival long time ago.

              Double Seventh Festival
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

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              The Double Seventh Festival (qī xī 七夕), on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, is a traditional festival full of romance. It often goes into August in the Gregorian calendar. This festival is in mid-summer when the weather is warm and the grass and trees reveal their luxurious greens. At night when the sky is dotted with stars, and people can see the Milky Way spanning from the north to the south. On each bank of it is a bright star, which see each other from afar. They are the Cowherd and Weaver Maid, and about them there is a beautiful love story passed down from generation to generation.

              Lantern Festival
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture
              ??????? ?? Lantern
              Falling of the 15th day of the first lunar month in China, the Lantern Festival (yuán xiāo jié 元宵節) is a traditional festival in China. The first lunar month is called “zhengyue”(zhēng yuè 正月) by Chinese people, and in ancient times it is called “xiao”(xiāo 宵). As early as the Western Han Dynasty (xī hàn 西漢, 206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival with great significance. It is the first important festival after Spring Festival (chūn jié 春節).
              Spring Festival
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

              altJust as important as Christmas?for the westerners, Spring Festival (chūn jié 春節) is the most important festival for the Chinese people, when all family members get together, no matter how far away they?live from home. It makes the transportation systems the busiest in one year, which usually lasts for about half a month. During this period, airports, railway stations and long-distance bus stations are crowded with home returnees.

              The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month, often one month later than the Gregorian calendar. It originated in the Shang Dynasty (shāng cháo 商朝, 1600 BC-1100 BC) from the people's sacrifice to gods and ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one.

              Chinese Festivals(the Chinese calendar)
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture
              中國節日(農歷) Chinese Festivals(the Chinese calendar)  

              農歷正月初一 春節(the Spring Festival)

              農歷正月十五 元宵節(Lantern Festival)

              農歷五月初五 端午節(the Dragon-Boat Festival)

              農歷七月初七 乞巧節(中國情人節)(Double-Seventh Day)

              農歷八月十五 中秋節(the Mid-Autumn Festival)

              農歷九月初九 重陽節(the Double Ninth Festival)

              農歷臘月初八 臘八節(the laba Rice Porridge Festival)
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