Shanghai has many unique traditional and modern festivals for China tours visitors to enjoy. The following are some important ones listed in order of dates with schedules and brief descriptions for your reference:
New Year Bell Striking
Date: 24:00, Dec. 31 / 00:00 Jan. 1, every year Place: Inside Longhua Temple, No 2853, Longhua Road, Xuhui District Feature: This is a traditional activity to celebrate the New Year. At midnight on December 31st each year, many locals, as well as foreign visitors, gather in the ancient Longhua Yangtze River cruises Temple, waiting for the bell to strike 108 times, welcoming in the New Year. The bell striking ceremony is considered sacred. People believe that this ceremony can dispel unhappiness and bring good luck to the attendants in the next year. Visitors can savor New Year Noodles in the temple, join in the entertainment and dancing at the square or watch the fireworks display.
Yuyuan New Year Folk Customs and Lantern Festival
Date: Jan. 1 – Jan. 18 (lunar calendar), every year (Feb. 3 – 20, 2011; Jan. 23 – Feb. 9, 2012; Feb. 10 – 27, 2013; Jan. 31 - Feb. 17, 2014) Place: Inside Yuyuan Shopping City (close to Yuyuan Garden) Feature: Lanterns are an indispensable part of Chinese New Year celebrations. During the festive period, colorful lanterns can be seen on Mid-Lake Pavilion and Jiuqu Bridge in front of Yuyuan Garden. These exquisite handmade China tour lanterns imitate natural sceneries, animals or cartoons, with expressions of good wishes painted on them. The locals believe that the lanterns can bring good fortune to them in the New Year. There are performances of dragon and lion dances and Yangge, which is a rural folk dance popular in north China. Visitors can also participate in the game of guessing lantern riddles, which is a good way to learn about traditional Chinese folk customs and culture.
Peach Blossom Festival
Date: late Mar. – early Apr., every year(Mar. 30 – Apr. 20, 2011; Mar. 30 – Apr. 28, 2012; Apr. 2 – 22, 2013; End of March till mid April, 2014) Place: Pudong New Area Feature: It has been successfully held since 1991. Pudong has over 65 square kilometers (25 square miles) of peach trees. The trees usually start to blossom at the end of March, reaching full glory in the beginning of April. Datuan Peach Garden, Nanhui Peach Blossom Village, and Binhai Peach Garden are good places to admire these beautiful blossoms, whereas North City Folk Custom Village provides folk music and performances. Visitors can live a day as farmers or fishermen: fishing from boats Shanghai tour package or plowing fields. There are tasty country snacks to savor.