Qingdao Major Events & Festivals
Qingdao offers a constant influx of activities and festivals for visitors and locals to enjoy. These festivals celebrate Qingdao's history, culture, and location within China and the rest of the world. The International Beer Festival in August is the most well known out of them all. Click for a few descriptions of some of Qingdao's festivals, while listing out the rest.
Held every year in August, this event is a raucous celebration of Qingdao's brewing heritage. During the daytime, there are official ceremonies that celebrate Qingdao's heritage, as well as carnival type rides, food and games. In the evening, the event really picks up as crowds flock to huge tents set up by each beer company with a presence in China. One can sit down and order beer or snacks and watch (or participate in) various performances such as karaoke, concerts, auctions, or comedy.
The Lantern Festival takes place at the end of the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year Celebration) on January 15, the day of the first moon. This festival marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year and is the day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebration period. The lantern festival dates back as far as the Han Dynasty (BC 206 - AD 220) when Emperor Han Wen proclaimed on this day that all Buddhists should light lanterns to show respect for their god. On this day Tangyuan, glutinous rice dumplings with sweet fillings, are consumed as a symbol of sweetness, completeness, and unity.
The Hongdao Claim Festival is held in early May. Activities are based on the motto 'Visit the fishing village and feel the ocean'. Visitors can get fresh seafood, visit fishermen's homes, go fishing and participate in other festivities ranging from carnival games to military simulations. Hongdao, with its clean sea and mild current, is an ideal environment for local clams to thrive. A plate of Qingdao 'gala' accompanied with a fresh draft of the local brew is considered by many as the perfect afternoon.
The Laoshan Cherry Festival starts in early May and lasts approximately 30 days. The Cherry Valley of Laoshan starts at the Yu Kuang bus stop and continues to the quaint little town of Beizhai.
The Oriental Cherry Fair with a history of 80 years is held every April and May in Zhongshan Park and Badaguan. There are thousands of oriental cherry trees along the famous "Oriental Cherry Road" in the garden and a large variety of flowers such as magnolias, Chinese flowering crabapples, and tulips are on the show as well.
Qingdao's textile and garment industry has a long history. The city, together with Shanghai and Tianjin, enjoys a good reputation in China for textiles. Qingdao International Fashion Week is an important worldwide specialized economic and trade event developed by the city government in light of the city's traditional advantage in the textile and garment industry, and the present-day global economic development.
The main activities during the fashion week include an international garment and ornament show, an international master designers' products show & international famous brand investment and trade fair, news briefings, garment design competitions, international fashion forums, college students' fashion design competitions, and economic and trade talks for international procurement companies.
The Ocean Festival fully exhibits Qingdao's strength in marine resources, marine science and technology, marine-related industries and marine culture. Since its debut in 1999, the annual event has already exerted a great influence in China.
Centering around the theme of "Embrace the Ocean and Seek Common Development", the annual event is dedicated to carrying forward marine culture, popularizing marine science and technology, promoting the development and utilization of marine resources, and enhancing the consciousness for ocean environmental protection. Many interesting activities are held among the beautiful and splendid scenery where famous scholars, business people and artists mingle. A magnificent opening ceremony, colorful cultural and sports activities, including superb model contests and exciting water events are arranged for domestic and foreign tourists.