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Arts and traditions

Festivals

en.visithainan.gov.cn | Updated: 2017-12-20

Hainan Carnival

Dates: at the end of November

Taking place in late November, the Hainan Carnival is all about joyfulness. It is held in a different location around Hainan every year. There is always an elaborate opening ceremony. The performances include drumming, dancing, and song. The show is followed by a parade with floats and hundreds of celebrities, fireworks and a street party lasting late into the night.

Other events such as festivals of Hainan food, music, and fitness, a Hainan opera showcase, an RV & camping conference, a tai chi competition, an eaglewood expo, and more are often part of the Hainan Carnival period.

Huanhua Festival

Date: the 15th day of the 1st lunar month

The Huanhua Festival is a flower exchanging festival, although in the past participants exchanged sticks of incense instead. Each year, local people exchange flowers and wish each other happiness in the coming year.

Roses are the most common flower traded during the day. Some people wear fanciful and colorful face masks. Held in Qiongshan city, the festival focuses on friendship, wellness, and happiness. In addition to exchanging flowers, people will put on lion dances and parades, and hang traditional lanterns everywhere.

Junpo Festival

Dates: the 9th to 19th day of the 2nd lunar month

Junpo Festival is a historic Hainan festival of the Li people celebrating the life and achievements of Madam Xian, who played a vital role in uniting and developing Hainan between 513 and 603. She was praised by former premier Zhou Enlai as "the most prominent heroine in China's history".

The festival is divided into two parts, one celebrating local male gods, and the other celebrating local female gods. Participants burn incense, kowtow, dance, walk on coals, and even pierce their cheeks with long metal rods in honor of the gods during the Junpo Festival.

Nanshan Longevity Festival

Date: the 9th day of the 9th lunar month (Chongyang Festival in China)

Living in Hainan is great for your health, and Hainan residents are some of the most long-lived in the world. The Nanshan Longevity Festival, held at Sanya's Nanshan Temple, celebrates Hainan's oldest men and women. At the festival, photos of the elderly are put on display, awards are given to the oldest living people in Hainan, and those over 100 years old are organized for mountain hiking. There are seminars on longevity and contests with games and prizes for all.

Sanyuesan Festival

Date: the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month

Sanyuesan is a Li festival coinciding with the International Coconut Festival. There are campfire songs, bamboo dancing, dragon boat racing, archery contests, and opportunities for young Li men and women to court one another in attempt to find love and happiness. It's a great time to learn more about the traditional culture of the Li people of Hainan.

Seven Fairy Mountain Water Splashing Festival

Held in Baoting, the Water Splashing Festival begins with a ceremony in the center of town, and then erupts into pandemonium as the entire town plus hundreds of tourists all vie to soak each other with water. With squirt guns, dippers, and buckets, everyone is armed and there is no one left unsoaked during this chaotic water fight that lasts all day. It's a good idea to keep your valuables in a water-proof bag and have a dry change of clothes ready. Bathing suits are great attire, but beware of wearing anything that could be ruined or become see-through when wet.

Tianyahaijiao Joy Festival/Danzhou Folk Song Festival

Date: the 15th day of the 8th lunar month (Mid-Autumn Day)

The Tianyahaijiao Joy Festival is a wonderful family festival. Held in autumn, the festival is celebrated at Tianyahaijiao - also known as The End of the Earth.

Throughout the day, attendees enjoy dance performances, eat moon cakes, see folk lantern displays, and sing mountain songs while observing the moon. The Danzhou Folk Song Festival is similar to the festival. It is held in autumn, and offers activities such as lighting lanterns and setting off fireworks.

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The ethnic diversity in Hainan awaits you to explore. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]