Specific Features of Festive Culture in Modern China

  • Tamara A. Artashkina School of Arts and Humanities of the Far Eastern Federal University https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7806-7182
  • Bofei Shang School of Arts and Humanities of the Far Eastern Federal University
Keywords: national culture, China, dynamics of festive culture, system of national holidays, government holidays, traditional holidays, popular holidays, transformation of festive culture.


The history of XX-century China can
be divided into several periods that greatly
altered the path of China’s historical
development: Xinhai Revolution, Anti-Japanese
war, civil war, establishment of PRC, Cultural
Revolution, policy of reforms and openness.
Uneven development of contemporary China
has had its influence on Chinese holidays.
The authors consider the concept of “national
holidays of China” a basic category.
In the Chinese language, a “holiday”
is an unusual day or days connected with
something. All national Chinese holidays fall
into two categories: government and popular.
Chinese government holidays include official
holidays established by law; they are days-off
for all Chinese citizens. Currently there
are 7 government holidays in China and many
popular holidays. Popular holidays include
traditional holidays, occupational or social
holidays, holidays of national minorities
or others. Not all Chinese citizens have days-off
during these popular holidays. There are two
aspects of cultural problems in modern China:
a big gap between urban culture and rural
cultures; there is a problem of active borrowing
and introduction of Western culture
into the national culture of China. In particular,
many western holidays have intervened
into the tissue of Chinese culture. However,
western holidays do not alter the cultural
meaning of Chinese traditional holidays;
they have acquired Chinese features and enriched the life of young Chinese people.
Chinese festive culture is transformed within
the following areas: traditional holidays
are replaced with innovative ones; modern
holidays are formed under the influence
of new social and political conditions
and cultural globalization; transformation
of traditional holidays changes either their
quantity or their content and cultural meaning.
However, the authors have come
to the conclusion that despite
the transformational processes the cultural
meaning and main cultural functions
of traditional holidays are preserved:
reunion of families and, hence,
the reunion of the whole nation.

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