As a photographer you know just how perfect of a place China is to photograph.
From its beautiful landscapes to its exciting animals! The photography opportunities are endless.
Surely you have considered taking pictures of China’s natural beauty.
But have you considered photographing the cultural side of the country?
China is home to a variety of cultural and social gatherings, and these social events are often filled with vibrant colors and exciting decor.
A photographers dream!
Throughout the year, dozens of holidays are celebrated by hosting festivals in China.
These festivals celebrate events such as the Chinese New Year and winter solstice. During these festivals, you can expect to photograph colors and lights.
Interested in photographing these events but don’t know where to start?
Keep reading to learn about the 6 most photogenic festivals in China.
1. Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year occurs on the 1st-15th of the first lunar month and this festival is the most important festival in China.
It celebrates a year of hard work, from farmers to business owners! It’s also a time to wish for a prosperous new year.
You can make your own New Years resolution the Chinese way!
The event is marked by a huge festival that fills the streets of China. It creates the perfect photography scene.
During the festival you can expect to see:
- Bright colors
- Beautiful flowers
- Fun festival floats
- Lively scrolls and couplets
If you are visiting during the early months of the year, this is one of the festivals in China that you have to attend!
2. Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival marks the last day of the Chinese New Year. The festival typically occurs in February or March.
It symbolizes the coming of Spring. Spring brings new life, new adventures, and new hope.
Do you enjoy photographing colors and lights?
If so, this is the festival for you! It is known for its brilliant lanterns and fireworks. In fact, almost 800 hand-made lanterns are displayed during the festival.
You can also expect to photograph plenty of folk dancers. Don’t be afraid to join them for a few steps!
The festival is the ideal venue for perfecting your nighttime highlight photographs.
3. Qingming Festival
The Qingming Festival occurs each year on April 4th or 5th and dates back to 770-476 B.C.
The festival is also known as Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day. The day serves as a time to celebrate and show respect for ancestors.
If you like capturing events full of emotion, consider this festival. You’ll snap images of happiness and sadness.
But you’ll also find yourself surrounded by vibrant flowers and everything that Spring has to offer.
Keep your eyes out for plenty of kites in the sky!
4. Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival has occurred for over 2,000 years.
The festival celebrates an ancient poet, Qu Yuan and is celebrated on the 5th day of the lunar month.
You’ll find most of the action in southern regions of the country.
The best places to visit to see the festival are:
The festival is most notable for the dragon boat races. This means you’ll have to be on your toes and quick to snap the perfect photo.
Action photography paired with the brightly colored boats? You’re sure to capture some unforgettable moments!
The festival is also a time to celebrate Chinese cuisine.
Photographers should enjoy delicious food too! Don’t finish the day without trying Zongzi!
5. Chongyang Festival
Do you have a lucky or go-to number? If so, you will appreciate the Chongyang Festival.
The festival occurs on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month.
In Chinese culture, nine is the number of the Yang. The number is historically symbolic of the day.
The festival is celebrated with outdoor events and plenty of food.
To get the most out of this festival:
- Be prepared for action and action shots. Plenty of people will be climbing mountains. The mountains are home to fields of chrysanthemums. This means you’ll either be snapping long-distance shots or putting on your hiking boots and joining everyone else!
- Consider variations of floral photography. The festival is filled with chrysanthemums. These flowers come in a variety of colors! Be sure to use different zooms and focuses when photographing.
- Photos aside, eat the food! After hours of taking photographs and climbing mountains, you’ll need to replenish! Take a few minutes off from behind the camera and indulge in Chongyang cake. The dessert is a tradition during the festival.
6. Dongzhi Festival
The Dongzhi Festival celebrates the beginning of winter.
Winter Solstice is celebrated around the world, but China’s celebration is one worth experiencing.
It marks the shortest day of the year and emphasizes the yin and yang.
We should all celebrate balance and harmony, right?
As a photographer, you know the importance of balance!
The day is spent with family, friends, and plenty of food. Dumplings are the go-to meal.
The Chinese people use the day to celebrate and enjoy the crops they’ve grown.
While most of the day is spent indoors, this festival is still worth photographing.
In fact, the festival concludes with a lighting of lanterns!
Expect to see lanterns in gardens and hanging from trees. And there will be plenty of people celebrating in the streets!
Looking to brush up on photographing heat and fire? This is the festival for you!
Prepare to snap a photo with the perfect amber glow.
The festivals in China are waiting for you!
Festivals in China happen throughout the year.
No matter if you are visiting in the summer or in winter, it’s likely there will be a festival for you to photograph.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to take in the Chinese culture with your own eyes, ears, and lens?
Don’t just take our word for it!
Consider a China photography tour to experience China for yourself.
You can also read about must-visit locations to snap once in a lifetime images.