Beijing Major Events & Festivals
A series of tourist festivals are held annually in the capital city, such as Beijing Music Festival, International Choir Festival, Chinese Art Exhibition, Beijing International Tourist Cultural Festival, and Ice and Snow Festival of Yanqing County.
Beijing Spring Festival
Better known as Chinese New Year, it is celebrated on the first day of the first month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, this festival marks the greatest annual celebration nationwide. Every business is closed during the festival and the streets are jammed with parades and an array of jugglers as well as other street performers. The spectacular fireworks show light up the sky in the evening to keep up with the spirit of this long-lasting occasion.
This festival is celebrated with elaborately decorated lanterns which the Chinese people believe will ward off the evil spirits floating about the Beijing sky. Dancers and musicians also add to the fun.
Beijing Music Festival
The Beijing Music Festival has already become a significant date for Beijing's music fans. Held in late fall, the festival is staged at various venues throughout the capital. Each year more than 1,000 domestic and foreign musicians take part in approximately 30 performances, ranging from individual vocalists and instrumentalists to symphony orchestras.
Beijing International Kite Festival
Beside the renowned kite festival held in Wei Fang in Shandong province, Beijing also has an International Kite Festival which is held in the western suburb of Men Tou Gou. Varieties of kites from the last 100 years are displayed at the event. Experts are on hand to explain artistic features, production processes and kite-related anecdotes. Kite flying activities are also held in spring in Chao Yang Park.
Spring Flower and Plant Fair
The Spring Flower and Plant Fair has been held annually in the Workers' Culture Palace for more than a decade. Flowers are brought together from the five provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangsu and Henan, making this Beijing's premier floral event. The park's vast courtyards are covered with tens of thousands of pots with ornamental flowers and lush plants, complete with miniature landscapes, root carvings and saplings.
Beijing Watermelon Festival
Recently, arrays of watermelons have been bombarding Beijing's streets every Summer to celebrate this juicy festival. In addition to the melon street, Food Street, Art Street and Commodity Street, the festival also features various ceremonies, movies and amusement parties. Melons are judged and rated, tasted and traded. There is a fireworks show, a lantern fair and many sports and games.
Longqing Gorge Lantern Festival
Longquing Gorge offers a fantastic natural beauty as well as grandeur. The location is ideal for an ice-lantern festival as it has an annual ice period of four months. Each year about 80 groups of ice lanterns, ice-and-snow sculptures and ice slides are displayed under the colorful lighting along 300 meters of the gorge.
Buddha Worshipping Assembly
The Buddha Worshipping Assembly is the biggest annual event at the Lama Temple which is the largest of its kind outside Tibet, its original home. Each spring there is a ceremony called "beating the devil", which is intended to expel the evil forces and invoke good blessings. The occasion attracts large crowds of visitors and foreign tourists.
Major parks in Beijing join hands to offer breathtaking floral displays every Spring. Potted plant aficionados should not miss the Spring Flower and Plant Fair near Tiananmen Square. There are various other floral sightings at the Temple of Heaven, the Purple Bamboo Garden, as well as at the Temple of the Altar.
Beijing International Beer Festival
This event takes place in mid-summer each year in various tourist hotels around the capital. World-renowned breweries participate by offering a fantastic assortment of quality beer to sample and even drink in competition. Visitors are also welcome to attend a number of artistic performances.
Yan Jing Beer Festival
Yan Jing is China's most popular and a five-time awarded winning beer in terms of production and sales volume. Every June, the beer festival takes place in Shun Yi district, the location of Yan Jing's brewery. The event includes mass dancing, folk gala shows, games stalls and, of course, beer drinking contests.
Tomb Sweeping Day
This festival is known in Chinese by "Qing Ming", meaning "clear and bright". This is the occasion when Chinese families clean and repair their ancestors' graves and make offerings with flowers, food or paper money
Zhongshan Park Tulip Festival
Zhong Shan Park hosts an annual tulips exhibition every Spring. These tulips are displayed in nine arrangements, bearing such titles as "Welcome Guests," "European Scene," "Blooming Flowers," "Fantastic Woods," "Spring on a Tiny Island," and "Dutch Scenery." The whole park is submerged in a sea of flowers during the event, signifying the blooming scene of spring.
Spring Festival Temple Fairs
These temple fairs date back to the Tang Dynasty and are usually held on holidays in or around a temple. Nowadays, there are two major temple fairs in Beijing, both held during the Spring Festival (Chinese Lunar New Year). One takes place in Di Tan Park and another in the Long Tan Lake Park. The fairs feature folk performances, local opera, acrobatics, magic and shadow-puppet shows.