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Courtney Robinson

Los Angeles, California

Festivals in China?

I’m planning a trip to Shanghai and I’d like to try to see a few other cities and towns as long as I’m there. Since I can go any time I was thinking about trying to hit a festival or two—preferably one that reflects the culture in some way (no hot dog eating contests;) or local food (again—no hot dogs;) Can someone recommend a few I might consider?

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  • Ariel Z.

    Ariel Z.

    Can you offer some more details on the date you are gonna to be in Shanghai? We do have lots of festival staffs but they are or in certain period of time. And would you like to visit other cities nearby since we have plenty in Zhouzhuang and Hangzhou for example. · (0 likelikes)

 

					
					
					
				

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  • Gaetan Green

    top answer by

    Courtney, the only upcoming festival I can think of is the 'Hungry Ghost' Festival which starts on August 10th 2014 (it changes every year). This festival is deeply rooted in Chinese folk religion. According to the belief, the soul of deceased family members are able to get into the realms of the livings.

    The Hungry Ghost Festival lasts for two weeks and there is usually intense activities in temples particularly in the south of the country, Hong Kong and Macau. In Shanghai, you should try the City God Temple near the Yuyuan Garden. Family members go to the temples to make offerings and in some cases there are performances of Chinese opera in temples to entertain the 'ghosts' (do not sit on the empty chairs.

    Early June, there is the Dragon Boat Festival when there dragon boat races all over the country.

    In mid-September, there is going to be the 'Mid-Autumn Festival' also called the Moon Festival when people remember the deity Chang'e and eat Mooncakes. A good time for family gathering.

    October 1st is the National Day (when everyone is on holidays and it's the worst time to travel in China unless you like compact crowds of people).

    The best time to experience Chinese culture with your Chinese friends is during the Chinese New Year. The next one is February 19th 2015 when we enter the year of the sheep.

    Ethnic minorities areas in southwest China have their own calendars of festivities, but these are in more remote areas.

    Also, about 'hot dog'. I want to re-assure you : it's only in a few regions of the south that people eat dog meat and in special restaurant only. There is movement in China to forbid dog meat now.

    But if you are a foodie and like seafood, try to come in November when the 'hairy crab' is coming on the market on China's east coast. Chinese foodie simply can't get enough of it!

    Hope this helps!

    Shanghaiimage from travelcathay.com


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    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      These are great suggestions, Gaetan! I didn't know about the holidays in October which is really good to know since I was considering going then! I actually just used hot dogs as a way of expressing the fact that I didn't want to see anything American. :))) I really appreciate your help and will probably be seeking more of it as I plan my trip!!! · (0 likelikes)

    • Gaetan G.

      Gaetan G.

      Haha! I thought you did not want to eat dog meat in one of these festivals :) A city like Shanghai is very international, so you'll find pretty much any type of food you want. I am glad you liked my answer. I have people coming to visit in October, and told them to come at least after the 10th. · (0 likelikes)

    • Ariel Z.

      Ariel Z.

      helps a lot! · (1 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      That's so funny, Gaetan! I don't want to eat dog meat but that's not what I meant! :))) Thanks so much, again and keep your eyes peeled for more of my questions! :))) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Lily Chen

    answered by

    Do not come to China during the main festivals,such as National Day holiday or Spring Festival,everywhere is packed,crowded,hard to get flight tickets and expensive!

    If you want to see the festivals,I recommend you to visit Guizhou Province, where the home of colorful minorities,where still keep their tradition.Try to visit there in Spring,the "Sister Festival",or in winter,"Lusheng Festival".

    For food, Chengdu will be a great place,it is one of the culinary capital of China for spicy and yummy food. And hometown of PANDA! Around Chengdu,there are many world culture heritage sites,such as Giant Buddha of Leshan, Jiuzhaigou National Park....

    Anything unclear, feel free to ask me:)


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  • Xiang Mao

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    if you could hold up to Sep, then 09/08/2014 will be the mid-autumn day. People will eat moon cake for celebration but not sure what kind of event it will have in the citys. The food - moon cake could be found everywhere, some merchant like "元祖(Yuanzu)" even offer ice cream version as I remember.

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