Chinese Customs and celebrations
The largest festival — also called the Spring Festival — marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year. It falls between mid-January and mid-February and is a time to honor ancestors. During the 15-day celebration, the Chinese do something every day to welcome the new year, such as eat rice congee and mustard greens to cleanse the body, according to the University of Victoria. The holiday is marked with fireworks and parades featuring dancers dressed as dragons.
Many people make pilgrimages to Confucius' birthplace in Shandong Province on his birthday, Sept. 28. The birthday of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, is observed by visiting Taoist temples. It falls between late March and late April. Similar celebrations mark the birthday of Mazu, the goddess of the sea (also known as Tianhou), in May or June. The Moon Festival is celebrated in September or October with fireworks, paper lanterns and moon gazing.