Unpopular Chinese Festivals
Posted On March 26, 2017
Usually, festivals bring people a lot of joy, and people look forward to and are fond of festivals. However, this may not be true of Chinese festivals. In recent years, those traditional Chinese festivals have been gradually left out in the cold. Chinese festivals are becoming increasingly unpopular due to the attraction of Western festivals, the materialism of Chinese festivals, and the government™s neglect of protecting Chinese festivals.
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First of all, the popularity of Western festivals in China in recent years has posed a threat to Chinese festivals, and Western festivals are popular because they have more realistic meanings. For example, Mother™s Day is intended to show love to mother and April Fool™s Day is intended to make fool of others and have fun. However, many traditional Chinese festivals are either served for agriculture, helping people to understand the weather and seasons, or served for commemorating of a great person and passing his or her spirit from generation to generation. For example, during the Winter Solstice, people will have hot soup to prevent cold. Dragon Boat Festival is in honor of the great poet and patriot Qi Yuan. The meanings of many traditional Chinese festivals are greatly related to the past, and people feel bored to repeat mentioning those old stories and ancient people year and year again. People enjoy the Western festivals mainly to find some fun for busy life and express personal feelings to someone, so Western festivals are more attractive to people.
Moreover, the materialism of many Chinese festivals also results in the unpopularity of these festivals, and Chinese festivals have become the economic burden to people. For instance, although it is a good manner to prepare gifts for relatives and friends during festivals, nowadays, people believe that the more expensive the gift is, the more respect they can show to others. Thus, gifts have become increasingly expensive. For example, a box of moon cakes with a delicate wrapper during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and a bunch of roses during Qixi, the Chinese Valentine™s Day, can be sold at several hundred RMB. In fact, get-together time and gifts made by heart are the essence of festivals, and they are more precious than expensive gifts. Materialism makes Chinese festivals lose their essence and turn into a burden to people.
Finally, a more alarming reason of the unpopularity of Chinese festivals is the government™s neglect of protecting Chinese festivals. For example, as Shaorong Huang argued in Journal of Popular Culture,China does not have a systematic and authoritative set of law on the protection of traditional festivals and culture, whereas in Japan and Republic of Korea, as early as the mid-20th century legislation of this field has been instituted. On the contrary, the Chinese government set Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Tomb-Sweeping Day as statutory holidays in 2008. Chinese government need to attach enough importance to the protection of Chinese festivals, promote the influence of traditional festivals, and add new contents and forms into old traditions.
In sum, the attraction of Western festivals, the materialism of Chinese festivals, and the government™s neglect of protecting Chinese festivals all together lead to the unpopularity of Chinese festivals. However, it is a serious problem, because Chinese festivals are not just festivals. They are indispensable parts of traditional Chinese culture. They are worthy of every Chinese™s attention and protection.