As the capital of China, Beijing is home to amazing landmarks, important cultural centers and is an essential place to visit when on holiday in the country. There are many factors that are involved when it comes to deciding when to visit China, including what the climate will be like at different times of the year and when it is generally most expensive to visit, but one that is often overlooked is when certain festivals are celebrated.
Beijing is home to a number of brilliant festivals that are worth planning a trip around; here, we summarize the best annual festivals in the Chinese capital.
During the Spring Festival, which is more familiar to many as Chinese New Year, temples all across Beijing become busy places to visit. Locals practice various customs, such as folk songs, dance and craftsmanship shows, which are fascinating to watch. Some of the best include the Beihai Park Temple Fair, the Old Summer Palace Temple Fair – great for performances – and the Dongyue Temple Fair – a fine example of traditional Chinese culture, including midnight prayers, blessing cards and personalized red belts that ward off evil spirits.
The Grand View Garden Fair
Also held during the Spring Festival is the Grand View Garden Fair, which celebrates the Chinese classic masterpiece Dream of the Red Mansions . Held outside the ChangAnMen, those involved in the festival don traditional outfits that are sure to impress. Visitors can also expect to see a lot of performances related to the Chinese story of a woman from an aristocratic family who went to live in the Imperial Palace.
Beijing Chrysanthemum Exhibition
Held every November, this event takes place in all the major parks of Beijing. The exhibition in Beihai Park has become the most famous in all of the city, displaying lots of beautiful chrysanthemums and special displays for all to see. November is one of the best times to visit China thanks to the color that this festival brings and its celebration of one of China's traditional flowers.
Yanqing Ice and Snow Tourism Festival
This popular winter festival lasts from December until February, giving visitors plenty of time to join in with the fun. Held at Shijinglong Ski Resort, Badaling Ski Resort and Longqing Gorge, visitors can see some really incredible ice statues that have been carefully crafted, as well as have a go at skiing and ice skating. There are also hot springs that visitors can use to escape from the cold temperatures!