Festivals in Beijing that are worth your visit!
The Bird’s Nest Ice and Snow Festival
You probably have heard of the Bird’s nest stadium or Beijing national stadium before. It was built and used for the 2008 Olympic Games. Since December 2008 the area of 2000 square meters is transformed into a snow resort were people of all ages can enjoy winter activities like skiing and sledding every year. During the winter month the Bird’s nest is turned into the biggest ski resort in Beijing thus bringing winter cheer to the capital.
Date: 1 January – 28 February
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is China’s biggest celebration of the year and is in parts similar to other countries New Year. But unlike the western New Year’s Eve, Chinese people also celebrate the spring festival on New Year’s. Another difference is that the date varies each year depending on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This year, the year of the dog, Chinese New Year was celebrated on the 16th of February. In case you missed it, of course you can join the festivity next year on the 5th of February and enjoy the start of the year of the pig.
International Long-Distance Running Festival
The ILDR Festival was first held in 1956. Since then Beijing holds this Festival each year during the month of April. In 2017, the number of runners who joined the festival was around 12,000 in total. The route of this running festival leads you from Tiananmen Square to Xian Long Stadium and it also takes you through some of Beijing’s most historical areas.
Date: 18th of April 2018
Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon
This Marathon takes place in May. Participants actually run on the Great Wall and the runners have three courses to choose from: 42.2 kilometers (Full-marathon), 21.1 (Half-marathon) and 8.5 kilometers (Fun run). There are usually more than 2,500 runners from over 50 nations coming to this event. You can find more about it on this website:
Date: 3rd Saturday of May each year
Dragon Boat Festival
The festival is a traditional holiday in China in memory of the Minister and poet Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan). Long story short, Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River after being accused of treason during the Zhou Dynasty. Local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him but his body could not be found. So they dropped rice dumplings into the river so that the fish would eat the dumpling instead of Qu Yuan’s body.
Because of this, the festival is all about eating rice dumplings (zongzi), drinking Realgar wine (xionghuangjiu) and racing dragon boats. The festival takes place in Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park on the 18th of June this year.
Golden week is a national holiday in China which runs for 7 days starting on the 1st of October and was introduced in the year 2000. This time is a popular holiday period for Chinese people to travel around the country because the weather is clear and the temperature is comfortable.
To kick of the festival week many cities host a big parade including typical Chinese fireworks.
Dates: 1st – 7th of October 2018
Red Leaf Festival
This festival usually takes place at Fragrant Hill in Beijing from the middle of October to early November each year. The festival attracts more than ten thousand visitors. They are able to enjoy the red leaves covering the entire hill alongside the most magnificent landscape of Beijing.
If you are worried that you will encounter closed doors during Christmas, come to Beijing. Everything in Beijing: churches, theatres restaurants and shopping centers are open! The capital really celebrates this time and you will discover a winter wonderland. During this time shopping malls will display special offers and extended business hours starting from the middle of November. Here is a list of great shopping malls in Beijing that take part in this: Beijing Lai Tai Flower Trade Centre, Tianyi Small Goods Wholesale Market and Tianyi Market.