Festival Calendar of Shanghai

It is surprising that, although Shanghai is a modern, highly developed city, much of Shanghai’s population continues to follow a traditional way of life. Many age-old customs continue to be observed, and this contrast of old and new is part of the fascination of Shanghai. There are many festivals and exhibitions that celebrate Shanghai’s ancient traditions, and they continue to have a profound influence on people's daily life in this amazing city.In addition to the traditional Chinese festivals, Shanghai also celebrates the following; reflecting both traditional and modern aspects of daily life in modern China.

 January or February (depending on the lunar month)-Chinese New Year
New Year’s Eve in the traditional Chinese calendar: striking the bell in Longhua Park to ring in the New Year.
Striking the bell at New Year is a traditional way for Shanghai people to welcome the coming year. Traditionally, if the bell rings 108 times it will avert trouble and disaster, and bring good luck and longevity. Close to the Longhua Ancient Pagoda, Longhua Temple conducts the famous annual ceremony, precisely translated as "hitting the Longhua bell at midnight for the New Year". The enormous bell sounds a deep, melodious note much loved by locals and visitors alike.
Top Places to go:
NO.1 Longhua Temple
NO.2 Jade Buddha Temple
NO.3 Jing’an Temple
NO.4 Bao Hua Temple
NO. 5 Donglin Temple


March-Longhua Temple Fair

Longhua Temple Fair, held in Longhua old town, has a long history of more than 300 years. Legend tells that the laughing Buddha was born under the Longhua tree, preached Buddhism and saved people from secular sufferings. This later developed into a temple fair.

Today, the fair is the largest folk gathering in eastern China. It is a colorful fair with stalls, folk art, jugglers and stilt walkers, and is made all the more colorful by the blossoming of the peach flowers prevalent in the area at that time. Stalls surround the temple and thousands and thousands of people fight their way to the booths selling every kind of traditional Chinese food, crafts and almost everything else.


April-Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival

The Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival is held annually in late April lasting around one week, promoting all things tea, including a wide variety of teas to taste, competitions and exhibitions, and appealing to visitor and specialist alike. Tea is an integral part of Chinese culture, and this is a great place to explore its history and the traditions that go with it.

The festival started when the revolutionary history Exhibition Hall in Zhabei District opened the Songyuan teahouse. China's modern tea master, Wu Juenong (1897-1989) drew on historical documents and traditions to promote the national beverage, and over time the meetings and seminars held at the Songyuan teahouse inspired this tea culture festival which has become a major tradition in its own right.

shanghai Peach Blossom Festival
Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival is held annually in late March or early April, when the tens of thousands of acres of peach trees in Nanhui District, a suburb of Shanghai, are in glorious bloom.

The Nanhui district (pronounced nan-hwey) District has organized the annual Peach Blossom Festival since 1991, timed for when the peach blossom is at its best. The Festival includes Chinese folk culture presentations and displays, which have proved very popular with visitors. The heart of the Festival is in Huinan town in Nanhui district, at the Chengbei Folk Peach Orchard, which is magnificent at this time of the year.

The village provides picturesque scenery with a mixture of traditional formal Chinese gardens and less formal Chinese rural scenery. Against a backdrop of dancing leaves and luxuriant blossoms the village is full of surprises, including delicious local specialties, delicate craft work, beautiful scenery and, of course, the ancient peach trees in full bloom, adding to the charm of Nanhui itself.



May-Dragon Boat Festival
On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, this festival celebrates the national hero Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the 3rd century, B.C. in protest against a corrupt emperor. Legend has it that people attempted to prevent fish from feeding on his body by throwing rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves into the sea and frightening fish away by beating drums. Today crews in narrow dragon boats race to the beat of heavy drums, and it’s traditional to eat sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves during this Festival.
June-Shanghai Film Festival, Shanghai Television Festival
The Shanghai Television Festival (STVF) has become the most influential and prestigious international TV festival in Asia, arguably the biggest TV market in the world. Highlights of the festival include showcasing excellent Chinese and international TV programs, the Magnolia Awards, press conferences, signing ceremonies of international cooperation, a program market, TV forums and special events such as the Shanghai Student TV Festival and other competitions.

The Festival includes the International TV & Film Market, which has proved to be more market-oriented than its predecessors. In addition to the exhibiting companies present, the market invited potential buyers to attend in order to establish their own trade platforms for the first time.


August-Shanghai International Ballet Competition
September-Mid-autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival orChinese Lantern Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese people. The celebration became popular during the early Tang Dynasty. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox. In 2008 it was made a Chinese public holiday. Traditionally, family and friends gather in the evening to celebrate, eat festive fruits and mooncakes. After dinner, a visit to a public space, such as a park or shoreline, may follow for, literally, 'appreciating the moon'. It also provides a good excuse for a barbeque gathering. Importantly, lanterns and candles are lit. Traditional practices are being given a modern twist, most often for marketing purposes. For example, the traditional egg yolk, lotus seed paste & pastry mooncake will be offered with alternative fillings, such as green tea or chocolate.


October-National Day

October 1st is Chinese National Day. National Day, celebrating the foundation of the People's Republic of China.There will be a variety of grand ceremonies and activities in China during National Day, such as a great ceremonial review of troops in Beijing and lighting fireworks in many cities the evening.

November-Shanghai Asian Music Festival; Shanghai Arts Fair
Shanghai Asia Music Festival, sponsored by Shanghai Culture Development Foundation, is a major international culture exchange activity and is regularly held each November. It presents a full picture of pop music styles in different Asian countries. Nearly 20 countries in Asia participated in this festival. From 1999, thanks to the participation of IFPI, the world Big 5 record companies and Shanghai Asia Music Festival has become an important music meeting in Asia that attracts more and more attention from home and abroad.
December-China’s Winter Solstice Festival
In the West, the general population usually equates the yin yang with balance, harmony and unfortunate ankle tattoos. However, his curvy black and white symbol has the honor of being a prominent figure in the Chinese Dongzhi Winter Solstice Festival.
What’s the yin yang/solstice connection? Well, balance and harmony are indeed a big part of it, but according to the Chinese the yin yang also represents the flow of energy, warmth and light. Each year when winter solstice rolls around (generally December 21 or 22, the shortest day of the year) the warm, positive energy -which had apparently turned cold, dark and lazy throughout the fall – revs back up again and sets its sights on spring. Put simply, winter solstice opens up the floodgates of happiness, joy, optimism and all those other fuzzy feelings.