Suzhou Festivals and Events

Suzhou Festivals and Events introduce a brief introduction of festivals and activities and tell travelers Top Things to Do for Suzhou festivals Tours and important Suzhou events and activities including Exhibition, Conference, Trade Show, Expositions and Trade Fairs.

Festivals in Suzhou

Each year, Suzhou, China is home to hundreds of festivals and events, showcasing the culture and diversity of its deep history. which dates back more than 2,500 years.Located in southeastern China. at the center of the Yangtze River Delta and only 60 miles from Shanghai. Suzhou is one of the most popular tourist destinations within China.There are so many reasons to travel to Suzhou, from UNESCO World Heritage gardens to iconic museums, but it is the thrilling festivals that make this city stand out.

Traditional Festivals in Suzhou

Holiday Name Date Remarks
Spring Festival(Chinese New Year) 1st day of 1st Lunisolar month Based on Chinese calendar. Holidays last two full weeks up to the Lantern Festival.
Lantern Festival 15th day of 1st Lunisolar month Based on Chinese calendar
Qingming Festival(Tomb Sweeping Day) April 4 Based on the Qingming solar term.
Dragon Boat Festival 5th day of 5th Lunisolar month Based on Chinese calendar
Double Seventh Day 7th day of 7th Lunisolar month The Chinese Valentine’s Day, based on Chinese calendar
Spirit Festival(Ghost Festival) 15th day of 7th Lunisolar month Based on Chinese calendar
Mid-Autumn Festival 15th day of 8th Lunisolar month Based on Chinese calendar
Chongyang Festival 9th day of 9th Lunisolar month  Based on Chinese calendar
Winter Solstice Festival(Dongzhi) December 21st, 22nd or 23rd Based on Chinese calendar
Summer Solstice Festival(Dongzhi) June 21st or 22nd Based on Chinese calendar
Laba Festival 8th day of the 12th Lunisolar month Based on Chinese calendar

Local Festivals in Suzhou

Taihu Plum Blossom Festival(太湖梅花节)

Date: Early spring (generally February – March)
Location: Linwudong Square, Xishan Mountain, Taihu Lake
Fragrant, bright pink plum blossoms blanket trees, transform hills and reflect off the water. This picturesque oasis is one of Suzhou’s most popular attractions, so it’s wise to book your tour at least 60 days out. The Taihu Lake Plum Blossom Festival Celebration is held in the Linwudong Square, Xishan Mountain, Taihu Lake. Focused on the plum blossom, this festival boasts all kinds of wonderful folk culture activities in a propitious and enthusiastic atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy the sceneries of Taihu Lake, the surrounding hills, and the fragrant flowers.

Shantang Hundred Flowers Festival(山塘百花节)

Date: February 20 of the lunar calendar
Location: Shantang Old Street
The Hundred Flowers Festival is held in Shantang Old Street, Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, attracting citizens and tourists. On the February 20th of the lunar calendar, birthday of flowers, commonly known as the Hundred Flowers Birthday, also known as the Hundred Flower Festival, on the day of the traditional Hundred Flower Festival in spring, a variety of folk art performances with the theme of "flowers" will be held in the Shantang Old Street. The ritual of celebrating the god of flowers and the parade of flowers fairy, etc., have created memories of traditional festivals for historical districts, and also added a lively tourist interest to the public.

Luzhi Water Town Costume Festival(甪直水乡服饰风情节)

Date: March 18-April 20
Date: Suzhou
The women's clothing in Luzhi Water Town is extremely beautiful and fascinating, known as the wonderful work of Chinese clothing culture. The annual Luzhi Water Town Cultural Festival is a local festival with typical Jiangnan water town style. The costume show full of rich water town style attracts numerous tourists at home and abroad.

Azalea Festival(杜鹃花节)

Date: March 28- May 10
Location: The Humble Administrator's Garden
Azalea blossoms and azalea potted landscape will be showed in major halls in the Garden. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the largest and most celebrated classical garden, as well as a collection of more than 70,000 blooming azaleas.

Suzhou International Silk Tourism Festival(苏州国际丝绸旅游节)

Date: April 5-7
Location: Suzhou
Suzhou International Silk Tourist Festival is a platform for promoting international silk trade fair. Aiming to attract more investors and businessmen in silk industry, Suzhou will hold temple fairs, cultural and art festival, silk garments exhibitions, fashion performances accompanied by the notable symphony orchestra, and activities that are linked with the theme of silk are held every year to attract people from all over the world. Some famous scenic spots in Suzhou are also highlighted during the festival.

More about Festivals in Suzhou

Activities in Suzhou

In Suzhou, colorful festivals and cultural celebrations abound all year round. There are traditional festivals, tourism official festivals, and new city-level events.

Events in Suzhou

Welcome the God of Wealth(迎财神)

Date: January 4 of the lunar calendar
Location: Panmen Gate
On the fourth day of the Chinese New Year, Suzhou people used to hold certain ceremony to welcome the God of Wealth. It is said that local deities including the God of Wealth returned to their earthly stations after a lengthy stay in Heaven. Since 2003, Suzhou government has developed this traditional festival into a great folk event for all the public at Panmen Gate. The event includes City Gate Opening Ceremony, God of wealth Cruise and so on. Visitors can learn more about the God of wealth.

“Crushing Gods” Temple Fair(轧神仙庙会)

Date: Suzhou
Location: April 14 of the lunar calendar
“Crushing Gods” is a traditional public activity. It is related to Lv Dongbing who is one of the Eight Immortals in Chinese legends. It is said that the 14th of April is the birthday of Lv Dongbing in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. On that day, he would pretend to be a beggar walking among the crowds. If someone walked past Lv Dongbing, he or she would have good luck for the following year. As a result, many people went shopping on that day. Nowadays, this traditional event has developed into an annual temple fair. In the Immortal Temple, there are many food stands, fish shops, handicraft shops on that day. Altogether, it is a very unique experience to be had.

Suzhou Lotus Flower Show(苏州荷花展)

Date: June-September
Location: Hetang Wetland Park, Xiangcheng, Suzhou
Explore the waters of Suzhou’s largest lotus theme park, boasting more than 500 lotus plants floating on the surface of the ponds. Water lily tours, boat shows, a lotus pond maze and access to the children’s amusement park are also offered during the show.

Taihu Lake Fishing Festival(太湖钓鱼节)

Date: August
Location; Taihu Lake
Hoards of fishing boats wet their lines in hopes of a bountiful fresh catch. Known by locals as “kaibu” or “begin to fish,” this festival showcases local fishing customs, sailing contests, bicycle tours and more.

Hanshan Temple Bell Ringing Festival(寒山寺新年听钟声活动)

Date: December 31
Location: Hanshan Temple

Every year on December 31st, thousands flock to the 1,500-year-old temple to listen as monks strike 108 bell tolls, praying for good luck and happiness in the coming year. Hanshan Temple has been famous for the ancient poem "Mooring to the Maple Bridge at Night". To the memory of the poet Zhang Ji who worked out the oft-quoted poem "I anchore near the Hanshan Temple out of Suzhou City, heard the bell ringing from my boat in the midnight", the temple has kept the tradition of ringing bell on the New Year Eve.

Huaqiao International Print and Advertising Exhibition

Date: March 3-7, 2020 
Location: Huaqiao International Expo Center, Suzhou
Huaqiao International Pan-Printing Exhibition will be held in Huaqiao International Expo Center. Dipper created a good opportunity to stand by and integrate the resources of East China and the Huaqiao International Expo Center to create a professional display and trade platform covering the entire digital printing industry chain. The Screen Printing Branch of China Printing and Equipment Industry Association will fully support and participate in this exhibition.

Tiger Hill Temple Fair(虎丘庙会)

Date: End of September- Middle of October
Location: Tiger Hill
Suzhou has a long history of holding temple fairs at the mountain in autumn. In old times when people had little entertainment, the temple fair was a prime festive event where folks could unwind, celebrate the autumn harvest, satisfy their craving for delicacies and otherwise just have fun. For many Suzhou seniors, it's a must-have event. Standing in the northwest suburbs of Suzhou, Tiger Hill is a signature spot in the city that rises 36 meters. Built in AD 327, the Tiger Hill Temple is still prosperous today, though most of its buildings were destroyed long ago, leaving behind only the ancient pagoda. The pagoda's timber has been burned repeatedly by warfare and from lightning strikes, yet it still stands, albeit at a slant to the northeast. Therefore, it is also known as "China's Leaning Tower of Pisa."

More about Events in Suzhou

Performances in Suzhou

Opera Performance in a Tea House

Discover one of China’s most storied cultural traditions when you attend an evening performance of Kunqu-style opera. A UNESCO-designated Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible History of Humanity, the art form has ancient roots. Before the show begins, discover more about the elaborate costumes and makeup the performers wear. Then sit back and enjoy the performance, which marries storytelling, music, ornamental sets, and more. Afterwards, you’ll even have the opportunity to meet the performers.

Listen to Suzhou Pingtan

"Suzhou Pingtan", a general term which includes 'Pinghua'-storytelling without music - and "Tanci"-singing in the local dialect-originated in Suzhou city of Jiangsu province 400 years ago and is performed in the Suzhou dialect. It was listed as China's intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture of China in 2006. "Pingtan" is known for its story telling, joke telling, music playing and aria singing. For "Pinghua", there is normally only one narrator who holds a fan and a piece of wood while telling stories. "Tanci" is mostly performed by two singing narrators, accompanied by two traditional Chinese string instruments called “Sanxian” and “Pipa”.

Watch Gusu Performance

During the day, you can visit the gardens and the ancient towns. When "the crows caw when the moon goes down." and "frost comes to Suzhou", there are still very powerful large-scale performance, which are worthy of your time. The performances in Suzhou are all very distinctive and the purpose is to show the history of Gusu to tourists from abroad and home, and show the moving story of this watery city. On the stage, you can also feel the cultural characteristics of "Jiangnan water towns"

Keep Reading

Water Town Cruise and Night Cruise in Suzhou

Nine-century-old Zhouzhuang Water Town, the oldest water township in China and one of the most famous, comprises a network of scenic canals, 14 stone bridges, and well-preserved buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The late Chinese painter Chen Yifei immortalized the village in his paintings. The Suzhou Grand Canal, like the Great Wall, is one of China’s most magnificent and astounding creations. Approximately 1,200 miles (1,776 km) from tip-to-tip, the Grand Canal is the longest man-made waterway in the world.