Xiamen Major Events & Festivals
If you are interested in the culture and customs of Xiamen,
you can pay attention to the various local festivals. For example,
June is noted for the Phoenix Flower Tourist Festival, August
is noted for the Gulangyu Piano Festival, and the week of Mid-Autumn
Day is noted for the Xiamen Bobing ('Cake Gambling') Festival.
Below is a listing of some of the festivals taking place in Xiamen.
The tourism festival in Xiamen commences on May 1. Visitors enjoy a
host of different activities, and get to witness different cultural extravaganzas.
More than 30 different activities will be held during the May holidays.
Xiamen sees more than 558,800 tourists, and the number grows with each
passing year, so this festival definitely does its bit to add to the booming
|Chinese Lantern Festival: January 15th of the Lunar Year
If the New Years festival does not quench your party mood, just wait
a few weeks for this annual celebration to kick off. Celebrated all over
China, it prompts revelers to wander the streets lugging lanterns and
uttering riddles. According to ancient legend, the lanterns will protect
people from being hauled off into the Chinese sky by evil spirits. The
festival has evolved over the years to where there are now lantern decorating
competitions. The festival date varies with each year, but generally
falls during the last two weeks in February.
A big country needs a big festival and this Chinese New Year celebration
fits the bill. The festival crams nine days of fun into 24 hours. Three-deep
crowds seemingly line every downtown street watching brightly decorated
lion, dragon and yangge dancers. Homes are adorned with New Year couplets
(red ribbons inscribed with wishes for the New Year) and families feast
on traditional cakes and sweet dumplings. The evening then culminates
with an onslaught of fireworks. The festival varies each year, but usually
falls between the last week in January and first week in February.
For this particular Cold Food Festival, switch over to cold food and
pay your respect to a Chinese bureaucrat who was torched on April 4, a
thousand years ago. Earlier the Chinese used to abstain from fire for
an entire month, which then came down to three days and now it's a one
day festival. So, for this day, eat cold food, cold noodles, and if you
are on a diet...raw food would be the best alternative!
If everyone in Xiamen is acting differently on this day because of the
full moon, do not become alarmed. This major festival annually celebrates
the full moon on the 15th of the 8th lunar month, giving license for
everyone to act jovial and downright loopy. According to Chinese legend,
the moon symbolizes reunion, prompting families to gather and chomp on
moon cakes (stuffed with sugar and red bean paste) together. The day,
like every Chinese celebration, culminates with fireworks.
Not a lot of people know that the Chinese use the lunar calendar, and
that the fifth day of the fifth month is very auspicious and important
in the city of Xiamen. The day is called Duan Wu and hence the festival
is named Du Wu. As a mark of respect, all Xiamenites keep a clean house
and cook dumplings to invoke the Gods. The dragon race provides an exhilarating
finish to the festivities.
The Qing Ming Jie festival or the Pure Brightness Festival, is a traditional
Chinese holiday that is celebrated on April 4 and 5. It celebrates the middle
of spring, and is also considered a sacred day of the dead. Relatives pray
for the dear departed and clean the tombs. Offerings of food are placed near
them. This is quite a sombre affair, but it does afford a glimpse into the
city's culture and beliefs.
|Xiamen International Marathon
Xiamen International Marathon, one of the two leading marathon competition in China co-organized by Xiamen Municipal Government and Chinese
Athletic Association, is registered with International Marathons and
Road Races in 2004. It is held on the last Saturday of each March.
Consisting of full marathon, half marathon, 5 and 10 kilometers races, Xiamen
International Marathon attracts over 20,000 participants. The Whole course runs
largely through the scenic sections of the city, including Huandao Lu (Ring Road)
and large landscaped areas, which are flat and considered to be ideal for a marathon
race. In particular the scenic Huandao Lu is regarded among the most beautiful
marathon courses in the world.