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7 Must-Visit Festivals In China

With China being such a beautiful and diverse country, it boasts a variety of unique, ancient and fun festivals. From festivals that celebrates the country’s natural beauty to those that celebrate the history and culture of the nation, there is a festival for everyone. Here are seven of the best tourist-friendly festivals to attend when visiting China:

Zhangjiajie International Forest Festival

As inspiration for David Cameron’s movie ‘Avatar’, the Zhangjajie National Park has become a popular destination for tourists to visit. Annually from 18-20 November, the Zhangjiaie International Forest Festival is held to promote and protect the forests of China. During the five day festival many competitions are held that are forest themed. The festival is held at Zhangjiaje Nation Park as it was China’s first national forest park.

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Source: Wikipedia

Lantern Festival in Zigong Sichuan

The Zigong Festival started in the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907) and has been held annually ever since - in modern day from February to early March. During the festival, locals display thousands of traditional lanterns made of bamboo, silk, paper, glass bottles, and porcelain tableware. The lantern designs are often based on ancient Chinese myths, legends and folk tales with some even taking inspiration from modern day movies and TV shows. This festival is truly an eyeful and attracts people from all over China and the world.

Dalian International Fashion Festival

If you love fashion, then head to Dalian International Fashion Festival. Being the largest and most influential international fashion, culture and economy pageant in China, the festival attracts merchants and fashion lovers from all over the world. During the festival there are various runway shows, large parties, a youth designer competition, an international fashion expo and an opportunity for those in the fashion industry to network. As the name suggests, the festival is held in Dalian, Liaoning Province, in early September annually.

Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival 

Happening in annually in the city of Harbin in the Heilongjiang Province transforms into a winter wonderland for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. As the largest ice and snow festival in the world, the month long festival - from 5 January to 5 February -  includes sporting events (ice hockey, swimming and cross-country skiing to name a few), exhibitions such as photography and calligraphy, and fireworks displays.


Source: YouTube

Shanghai Huangpu Tourist Festival 

One of the best times to visit Shanghai is in late September during the Shanghai Huangpu Tourist Festival. The weeklong festival showcases the customs, traditions and culture of the people of the city with amazing events. These events include a large floats parade, concerts in the city plaza, evening trips along the Huangpu River and visits to Shanghai’s scenic vantage points to showcase its beauty. There is also plenty of shopping to be done, and loads of authentic cuisine to be eaten.

Zhengzhou International Shaolin Martial Arts Festival

With over 1500 athletes from over 70 countries gathering to participate in the Zhengzhou International Shaolin Martial Arts Festival in the Henan Province of China, martial arts lovers are in for a spectacular showcase of skill, performance and discipline. Visitors are welcomed into the Shaolin Temple where they can admire martial arts performances and matches. The festival also brings allows locals to showcase their amazing talents, including photography, painting and calligraphy through exhibitions held throughout the city. The festival is held during the month of September. 

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Source: Heredg

Guilin Scenery Festival 

Held annually from October 31 to November 8, the Guilin Scenery Festival allows visitors to admire the beautiful scenery of the region and participate in the rich, local activities and customs. The city of Guilin is surrounded by the picturesque Li River with stunning rock formations, and the festival allows for this to be showcased. Activities at the festival include an ancient cultural tour of Guilin, the Li River Lantern Fair, and evening bonfires on the Love Island with folk singing and dance.

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About the author

Ji Guo is a former professional travel writer. He's started several businesses in China and was born in Tianjin. Graduated from Yale University.


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