Changde Festivals and Events

Changde, a place with many ethnic minorities, has many unique folk festivals and the strong customs, which have become the major scenery line of Hunan Tourism. Although there are many traditional festivals in China, the most exciting is undoubtedly unique festivals for tourism. Here, China Dragon Tours will introduce the representative ethnic festivals in Changde.

Changde Poets Festival(常德诗人节)

With a long history and rich culture dating back to the periods of the Xia and Shang Dynasties three thousand years ago, Changde is one of the cradles of Xiangchu Culture. The first poets festival came into being in 2003, which lasted for three days from the 17th to the 19th of September. Since then, this grand festival for poets from all over the country has been fixed to be held every two years on the day of the Dragon Boat Festival (the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month). Changde Poets Festival, with the first title of “the Chinese Poetry City” endowed upon Changde by the Chinese Poetry Association, has a close association with the spectacular Poem Wall. The wall is 3 kilometers long, with 1,267 poems spanning five thousand years and 43 Chinese and foreign stone carvings showing stories from the antediluvian age to modern times. In the cultural and practical sense, the poets festival is a full embodiment of the deep cultural foundation of Changde as well as a practical action to develop and transmit Chinese poetry. The Poem Wall is and will forever be a platform to enhance the cultural quality of society, thus benefiting generations of people.

Taohuayuan Peach Blossom Festival(桃花源梨花节)

Taohuayuan, located in the Taoyuan County of Hunan Province, derives an element of its beauty from a very famous essay “Peach Blossom Spring” written by Tao Yuanming, a great writer of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). Well-known for its beautiful peach flowers, Taohuayuan holds the Peach Blossom Festival on the 28th of March each year for visitors to enjoy its cloudy sea of peach flowers.

Shimen Orange Festival(石门柑橘节)

Shimen County has been blessed with its orange-producing region for more than six hundred years. The orange industry is the backbone of Shimen’s agriculture. Shimen was given the title of “the Biggest Fruit-output County of Hunan Province” in 1998, “the First Chinese Early-ripening Mandarin Orange County” in 2000 and “the Chinese Orange County” in 2001.  Since 2001, Shimen has hosted “the Chinese Orange Festival” in October every year. The orange festivals showcase the world a special Shimen, and promote orange sales and Shimen’s economic development.

Lixian Grape Festival(澧县葡萄节)

Li County has a grape-planting area of 20,000 mu with an output of over 30,000 tons and an annual output value of more than 200 million Yuan. The average annual net income per mu from the 12,000-mu Vitis Vinifera (common grape vine) reaches over 10,000 Yuan. The first grape festival was held in August 2006. It introduced the delicious Lixian grape to the world and premiered the agricultural brand “Lixian Grape”. Since then, the annual Lixian Grape Festival from mid-July to mid-August has attracted friends both from home and abroad to share in the delights of the tasty Lixian Grape.

Huayanxi Egret Festival(花岩溪白鹭节)

Huayanxi is located in the Jiulong Mountain area, 58 km from the southwest of Dingcheng District, Changde. With a special geographic location, it is well known for its majestic natural sceneries, typical topographic features, and well-preserved ecological environment. With forest coverage of over 95%, Huayanxi boasts a multitude of rare plants and animals. From March to September every year, thousands of egrets live and breed here, which earns Huayanxi the beautiful name of “the kingdom of egrets”. In order to promote eco-tourism, Dingcheng District Government has designated every 6th of June as “the Huayanxi Egret Festival”.

New Year of Tujia Minority(土家新年)

Tujia people celebrate the New Year for three times, namely "Guogan Year(过赶年)" on the 29th or 28th of December in the lunar calendar, "June Year(六月年)" on June 25 in the lunar calendar. and "October Year(十月年)" on October in the lunar calendar and they generally hold these festivals in the Tujia Minority Villages.

At the night of Guogan Year, people make a bonfire in the playground of villages and encircle the fire to play, dance and sing songs. On June Year, the Tujia people slaughter cattle as a sacrifice. On October Year, Tujia people celebrate the festival together.

Tujia June 6(土家六月六)

Tujia June 6 is celebrated on June 6 in the lunar calendar and is held in Tujia Towns and Villages. Tujia June 6 has a very rich festival customs, some related to the sky, some related to the earth, some related to God and some related to the ancestors. The customs related to the sky are mainly "worshiping the Sun God." Some Tujia people in Xiangxi think that June 6 is the birthday of the sun. Therefore, it is necessary to worship the sun god, pray for the sun god to give sunshine,  and ensure a good harvest.