BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Double Seventh Festival, known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, falls on Thursday.
Here are basic facts about major traditional festivals in China.
SPRING FESTIVAL: The most imp ortant festival for the Chinese, it usually falls sometime in late January or early February. The festival began after a legendary emperor named Shun ascended the throne and offered sacrifices to honor heaven and earth. The day when the event took place was later designated as the Lunar New Year. Now the festival has become an occasion for family reunions. People try go home for the Lunar New Year's Eve. They usually post couplets, let off fireworks and stage dragon dances during the seven-day festival.
LANTERN FESTIVAL: This festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, usually in late February or early March. Legend has it that an emperor in the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) took the day to mingle with the common people to celebrate his victory over a rebellion. Now people celebrate it by hanging lanterns and eating tangyuan, or rice dumplings, which symbolize reunion, harmony and happiness.
QINGMING FESTIVAL: Qingming, or Tomb-sweeping Day, usually falls around April 5 each year. People honor their ancestors by sweeping their tombs on the day, and they often go outdoors and fly kites.
DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL: Falling on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, usually in June, this is an occasion to commemorate patriotic poet, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself on the day after the conquest of his state in the Warring States period (476-221 B.C.). People usually watch dragon boat races and eat zongzi, or the steamed glutinous rice in bamboo leaves.
DOUBLE SEVENTH FESTIVAL: On the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, usually August, this festival celebrates an ancient love story, in which a girl weaver and a herd boy loved each other, but were only allowed to see on this day every year. Many Chinese regard this as China's Valentine's Day.
MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL: Mid-Autumn is on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually September or October. Ancient emperors once offered sacrifices to the moon in mid-autumn. Later, it evolved into an occasion for families to get together, watch the full moon and eat moon cakes.
DOUBLE NINTH FESTIVAL: Known as the Ascent Festival, this falls on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, usually in October. In Chinese culture the digit "9," or "jiu", denotes "eternity", making it an auspicious date. People usually climb mountains and enjoy the autumn chrysanthemums.