Hangzhou Major Events & Festivals
There are a few major events and interesting festivals that take place in Hangzhou every year. Please read below for more information.
The Hangzhou Food Festival is one of the festivals that attract many visitors from near and far. The cuisine is authentic Chinese and visitors will get to sample some of rare Chinese delicacies which are prepared specifically for the festival. Another very enticing bit of news is that there are lots and lots of beer and exotic wines as an accompaniment to the delicious food.
The Hangzhou Food Festival is not only about sampling the delicacies. There is a series of activities which all tie food in with fun. The food week has a new dish competition in which all who are interested can participate. This competition is held in the south of Yangtze River.
During the Hangzhou Food Festival, there are five big meals to feast on by the Hangzhou residents and one of the happy and fun filled activities is selecting the best cookbook. Certain cultural shows are also held to make the festival more interesting.
Amongst all the joyous festivals celebrated by the people of Hangzhou, the Lantern festival is held in the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar which is also known as the Shang Yuan Festival in China.
The Hangzhou Lantern Festival or Shang Yuan Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth night (some festivities are held in the daytime also) of the first lunar month. Chinese calendar is according to lunar years, which is distinctly different than the more widely accepted and followed Gregorian calendar.
In Hangzhou, the Lantern Festival is one of the first festivals to be celebrated in the New Year or first month of the year. Again another significance of the Lantern Festival is that, it marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This festival is considered to be a very auspicious occasion for the people and the celebrations are done on a huge scale. Men, women and children are festively dressed and throng the streets to witness the different types of lanterns.
Another interesting feature of the Hangzhou Lantern Festival is that a lantern show is usually held showcasing the finest and most ornamental lanterns. People hardly sleep at night, in case they miss out any aspect of the festival shows. Some villages have theatrical troupes performing on the occasion of the Lantern Festival. This is known as "Going in for the Lantern Festival". Wuling Square, He Fang Street and West Lake banks are the most preferred location for the festival.
China has one of the oldest civilizations in the history of the evolution and it has introduced a totally new way of life, totally new concepts about how an elegant life should be led in the world.
Amongst the many firsts that were introduced by China, two most prominent ones are silk and tea. China has a glorious history of acquainting the world with silk, and silk became one of the most cherished possessions of the genteel society. Some festivals are held in China as a tribute to this silk culture, one of the most well known is Hangzhou Silk Cultural Festival.
Visit Hangzhou when the annual ode to this glorious material begins. The Hangzhou Silk Cultural Festival has several participants ranging from the Hangzhou Municipal Government to China National Academy of Fine Arts. A main aspect of this festival is that the garments which are showcased are all an elaborate study on Hangzhou silk, Hangzhou embroidery, Hangzhou jet weaving, Hangzhou color spray, and Hangzhou printing and dyeing.
Qiantang River is the biggest river in Zhejiang Province, running from the west to Hangzhou Bay in the east. The extraordinary surging tide of the Qiantang River is a world-renowned natural wonder caused by the gravitational pull of the stars and planets.
The Qiantang Tide Watching Festival in Hangzhou is celebrated by both the local people and visitors from other countries. Yanguan in Haining is the best place to watch the swelling tidal wave.
Qiantang River is a powerful river that originated from Anhui and Jiangxi borders (provinces in China). It passes through the capital city of Zhejiang province and flows down to the East China Sea. This river is prominent for another reason, it has spectacular tidal bore. And the famous Qiantang Tide Watching Festival, Hangzhou is a celebration of this unique feature. A tidal bore is a natural occurrence in which the edge of the tide forms waves and moves against the current and is a true tidal wave. Tidal bores do not occur in all rivers and can be of different shapes or forms.
Annually, millions of people from both home and abroad flock to Huangzhou to watch the magnificent tide on the eighteenth day of the eighth lunar month (also around the Mid-Autumn Day). When the surging tide comes, the water can rise up to a height of 30 feet and the noise it generates sounds like thunder, or thousands of horses running. Various activities will also be held to celebrate the annual Tide Watching Festival.
Since Hangzhou has opened its doors to tourism, flocks of people from all over the world come to this country to discover what a beautiful paradise it is. Lotus blooms in abundance here, hence a lotus festival.
The West Lake Carnival Festival normally starts with a carnival parade. This parade is very interesting as it is divided in three sections: the city fashion section (includes cartoon, street skating, fashionable street dance, car stunts), folk art section (includes various dances like Xinjiang, Tong, Yao, Wa, dragon horse lantern, dragon dance) and world custom section (passionate dances from all over the world). Be there to witness the carnival and visit the wondrous lake.
The West Lake Osmanthus Festival in Hangzhou is held in September each year. Generally the middle ten days of the month are selected for holding this festival. The main attraction of the festival is held in Manjueling Village where the main festival is held. On both sides of the road, more than seven thousand Osmanthus trees are planted and some very colorful tents line the roadsides. The festival lasts for a month.
As one of the most important cities in China, Hangzhou has a consistent influx of activities, events, and festivals taking place throughout the year. It is a modernized hub that holds music and film festivals, yet does not forget its cultural roots, as the dragon boat festival is also celebrated.