Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco

Chinese Festivals and Holidays
The Chinese observe a wide variety of traditional and modern holidays, based both on the lunar and solar calendars. The traditional Chinese calendar was based on a lunar cycle-- that is, dates following the regular appearance of the full moon. Even so, the equinox and solstice were essential for determining seasons in China's agrarian society. With the international use of the Gregorian Calendar, some modern holidays, such as the birthdays of national leaders, are based on that.

Major holidays celebrated in China, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities are marked in bold -- click for more information.

Lunar Holidays and Birthdays
1st Moon  
Day 1 Chinese New Year
Day 9 Birthday of the Jade Emperor
Day 15 Lantern Festival
2nd Moon  
Day 2 Birthday of Tudigong, the Earth God
Day 3 Birthday of Wenchang, God of Literature
Day 15 Birthday of Laozi, Founder of Daoism (Taoism)
Day 19 Birthday of Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion
3rd Moon  
Day 3 Birthday of Xuantian Shangdi, God of Rain
Day 23 Birthday of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea
4th Moon  
Day 8 Birthday of Siddhartha, Founder of Buddhism
Day 14 Birthday of Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals
Day 18 Birthday of Huato, Patron Saint of Medicine
5th Moon  
Day 5 Dragon Boat Festival
6th Moon  
Day 24 Birthday of Guan Gong, God of Warriors
7th Moon Ghost Month
Day 7 Lover's Day
Day 15 Hungry Ghost Festival
Day 30 Birthday of Dizang Wang, King of the Underworld
8th Moon  
Day 15 Mid-Autumn Festival
Day 16 Birthday of Sun Wugong, the Monkey King
Day 27 Birthday of Confucius
9th Moon  
Day 9 Double Ninth Day
10th Moon  
Day 1 Sending off the Winter Clothes
Day 5 Birthday of Damo, founder of Chan Buddhism
12th Moon  
Day 8 Celebration of Siddhartha achieving enlightenment
Day 23 Kitchen God reports to the Jade Emperor
Solar Holidays and Birthdays
April 4, 5, or 6 Tomb Sweeping Day
September 28 Teacher's Day (Taiwan: Confucius' Birthday)
October 1 National Day (People's Republic of China)
October 10 National Day (Taiwan: "Double Tenth")