China is an exciting and fascinating place to visit all year-round, but at certain times in the calendar the country really explodes into life. Chinese New Year is an obvious highlight, but the nation has a number of other celebrations which entice international travellers.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, held annually in either September or October, is one such event and really shows off the best side of this colourful nation. Here we run through the key details of the festival, so you can fully enjoy the celebrations on your next visit.
What is the Mid-Autumn Festival and how did it begin?
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also referred to as the Moon Festival due to its traditional association ...
An extensive port city with a long history, Fuzhou is one of the largest cities in China’s southeast, and the capital of Fujian province. With its Banyan trees, famous gardens and ancient temples, Fuzhou is an exciting city, surrounded by amazing natural scenery.
The city has long been a place of high importance in China, and over the centuries the wealth of the city has led to it becoming a destination for artists and their followers.
Any visitor to Fuzhou should take some time to seek out the Three Treasures of Fuzhou – lacquer work, shoushan alabaster sculpting and cork cutting. All involve incredibly intricate work by artists with the most skilled of touches ...
With a history stretching back to the founding of the Xia dynasty in 2070 BCE, and a human history dating back to 125,000 BCE, China has been home to a huge number of civilisations, states and dynasties throughout its esteemed past.
Every visitor to China should take advantage of the opportunity to explore the country’s notable history, touring the many sites that can be found across the country. Here are some of the best lesser-known places to visit, where one can gain an understanding of the ancient civilisations and mysterious inhabitants that lived in China long ago.
The Han dynasty was one of the most powerful and influential in China’s history, consolidating ...
The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of China's oldest and most important traditions. In some ways similar to Halloween and the Day of the Dead in the west, it represents a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, and the ghosts of long-dead ancestors may appear to help or hinder the living.
The festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month – September 5th in 2017, and August 25th in 2018. Celebrations occur all over Chinese territory, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, and regional variations are also observed in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.
Origins and history
The origins of the Hungry Ghost Festival ...
With its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, China is home to a range of diverse environments. From towering mountain ranges to vast deserts to open grasslands rich in colour, China often experiences heavy rainfall, icy winds and bright sunshine throughout the nation.
Alongside this full spectrum of weather conditions, China offers visitors something different with every visit. This four-season nation is never dull, with its collection of incredible natural wonders and phenomenal architecture spread across a range of contrasting climates.
Into the desert
Scorching temperatures and sand dunes might not be the first image that comes to mind when you think of China, but the country is ...
With an ancient history spanning 3,500 years, Changsha is one of the best cities in China to experience the culture of this far eastern nation. Located on the banks of the Xiang River, visitors will see the traditional architecture sitting alongside new modern skyscrapers.
Home to incredible cuisine, cultural experiences and Mount Yuelu, overlooking the city with its vast green forests, there is much to enjoy during your stay.
A traditional city dating back to the Zhou dynasty (1046 to 256 BC), Changsha was rebuilt in 1949 following World War Two and has since seen an influx of different cultures – the city is now home to over 50 different ethnic groups. Despite this ...
For over 2,200 years, people in China have said goodbye to the exciting Spring Festival with a celebration full of bright lights, colours and festivities known as Yuan Xiao Jie - translating to English as The Lantern Festival.
Taking place on February 11th in 2017, it is one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, and if you missed the main Chinese New Year celebrations or want to experience another part of traditional oriental culture, there are plenty of great reasons to attend.
A respected history
The Lantern Festival dates back to the Han Dynasty, which ruled China between 206 BC and 220 AD. Buddhism was growing popular in China during this time and the ruling class ...
A centre of wealth, opportunity and diversity, Shenzhen perfectly encapsulates the remarkable, relentless development experienced throughout China over the past few decades. The city's towering skyscrapers, busy markets, exciting theme parks and constantly developing cultural and entertainment scene make it a great place to visit for those that want to come face to face with a bolder, more modern China that doesn't conform to the traditional image.
Home to over 10 million people from throughout China, located close to Hong Kong and a base for all kinds of industrial and commercial activities, Shenzhen has a character unlike the interior of China.
Firstly, due to the ...
With Chinese New Year on the horizon, most people are aware of the celebrations surrounding the celebration – fireworks, decorations and red letter gifts. Given China's size, history and culture however, there are all sorts of local traditions that go beyond the national festivities.
Taking place over the 27th and 28th of January (although the celebrations stretch between late January and early February), here are some of the country's most fascinating Spring Festival celebrations.
Beijing temple fairs
Traditional Beijing New Year's parties take place in the capital's many parks, palaces and temple complexes. At these cherished places, thousands gather to enjoy folk music, magic acts ...
One of China's cultural gems, Harbin is a brilliant choice of destination for those who revel in culture, architecture and festivities. With a mixture of truly chilly winters and warm, pleasant summers, the city is well-suited to multiple visits throughout the year, although the most notable experiences can be enjoyed when the frost arrives.
Harbin comes into its own during the winter months, when deeply dropping temperatures allow the city to host all sorts of wintry attractions, the most famous of which being the city-wide Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, held in 2017 between January 7th and late February.
During this annual event, a number of outdoor venues play host to a wide ...