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Chinese New Year Calendar 2014

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The date of popular Chinese holidays, such as Chinese New Year, changes from one year to the next. Here you’ll find dates and descriptions of significant traditional holidays and festivals in 2014, the Year of the Horse, which begins on January 31, 2014 and ends on February 18, 2015.

1. Chinese New Year – January 31, 2014

Chinese New Year Tray of Togetherness
Rhonda Parkinson
China's biggest traditional holiday, Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the first month of the new lunisolar calendar. It's the beginning of the Spring Festival, a fifteen day celebration with fun, feasting, firecrackers and family reunions.

Chinese New Year Recipes

2. Lantern Festival – February 14, 2014

Falling on the night of the first full moon after Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival brings an end to the Spring Festival. Many cities have spectacular lantern displays, and children make their own paper lanterns. And like most Chinese traditional festivals, the Lantern festival has its own special food: festival goers enjoy glutinous rice flour dumplings with sweet or salty fillings.

Yuanxiao Dumpling Recipe

3. Cheung Chau Bun Festival – May 6, 2014

MN Chan, Stringer/Getty Images News, licensed to About.com, Inc
Placing 7th on a Reuters list of top 10 wacky sports around the World, this four day annual event takes place on Cheung Chau, a tiny island located 10 miles south-west of Hong Kong Island. The premier event is a bun scrambling competition: contestants race up giant steel bun-laden towers, trying to grab and bring down as many buns as possible within the three minute time limit. Another popular event is the colorful Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade, where children riding high above the crowds on decorated floats are dressed to represent gods and political figures.
The exact dates of the festival are yet to be determined but both the bun race and parade are traditionally held on Buddha's birthday, - the 8th day of the fourth moon in the lunar calendar (May 6th in 2014).

4. Dragon Boat Festival – June 2, 2014

Rhonda Parkinson
The dragon boat festival is China's oldest traditional festival. The main event associated with the festival is dragon boat racing, where teams of brightly decorated boats, each with a dragon masthead, race to the finish line. Race-goers enjoy live entertainment and eat zongzi – glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. Worldwide, dragon boat races are held throughout the year; however, the official date of the Dragon Boat Festival is fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month.

5. Chinese Valentine's Day, Festival of the Double Sevens - August 2, 2014

Both names for this holiday come from the position of the stars on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese calendar. Learn more about the day and the legends surrounding its origins, including the fate of star crossed lovers Zhi Nu and Niu Lan. (Date of Chinese Valentine's Day: seventh day of the seventh Chinese lunar month)

6. Mid-Autumn Festival – September 8, 2014

Rhonda Parkinson
This is China's second major popular festival after the Chinese Spring Festival, taking place when the fall harvest moon is at its fullest and brightest. Families comes together to admire the full moon and enjoy mooncakes. Today, mooncake season is a time for bakers to get creative: in addition to traditional fillings such as lotus seed paste and red bean paste, you'll find mooncakes filled with everything from pineapple and nuts to durian paste. Some bakers make reduced calorie mooncakes using less sugar, while Haagen Dazs offers decadent ice cream mooncakes coated in rich chocolate. (Date of the Moon Festival: fifteenth day of the eighth Chinese lunar month).

7. Chong Yang, Double Ninth Festival – October 13, 2014

The Chong (Double) Yang festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth Chinese lunar month, a day when the two highest masculine numbers meet, according to the theory of Ying and Yang, (positive numbers are feminine; odd numbers masculine). Activities associated with Double Ninth day include climbing a hill or mountain, drinking chrysanthemum wine, and eating Double Ninth cake made with glutinous rice flour.

In addition, since the Chinese words for "nine" and "long time" are homophones (words that sound alike) the government has designated this as "Senior Citizen's Day" – a day for families to honour ancestors, have dinner with senior family members, and for towns and cities to hold special events for the elderly.

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