Sunday, July 29, 2007

Top 10 Chinese Holiday Calendar for the Year of the Pig (2007)(2)

3. Kuan Yin's Birthday - April 6, 2007
A few weeks after the Irish pay homage to St. Patrick, Buddhists will be celebrating the birthday of the Goddess of Mercy. Learn more about Buddhism's most universally beloved deity and celebrate the day with classic Irish and Asian recipes. (Date: nineteenth day of the second Chinese lunar month).

4. Ching Ming – the Tomb Sweeping Festival - April 5, 2007
A gravesite picnic? Why not? The Tomb Sweeping festival is a time for families to honor the memory of their ancestors. Along with “tomb sweeping” – performing standard gravesite maintenance such as removing debris from the gravestones and replacing dead flowers - family members offer gifts of food, fruit and wine to the departed. After a formal ceremony, the food is shared among family members. Another tradition is to burn incense to ward off any evil spirits that may be lurking.

5. Cheung Chau Bun Festival – May 24, 2007
Every year, Hong Kong's tiny island of Cheung Chau holds a celebration honoring Pak Tai, the God of the Sea. The highlight of the three day festival involves a spectacular midnight race up steel towers that have been loaded with Chinese buns. (Date: the eighth day of the fourth lunar month).

6. Dragon Boat Festival - June 19, 2007
There are few sites more spectacular than a fleet of painted dragon boats racing toward the finish line, with a drummer in each boat hammering out the rhythm for the rowers to follow. The Dragon Boat Festival is China’s oldest festival. Find out more about this exciting event and learn how to make Zongzi, the sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves that are an essential feature of any Dragon Boat Festival celebration. (Date: fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month).

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