Seasons and Holidays
Yangshuo climate, from Wikipedia
Yangshuo has a semi-tropical, monsoon climate with abundant sunlight and rainfall about 164 cm (65 inches) on average each year.
Yangshuo weather can be divided into four seasons. Spring and autumn are the most popular times to visit, as it is warm and sunny, but not too hot. Summer can be very hot and humid, with temperatures between 25 and 38 degrees celcius (77 to 100 degrees farenheit). Winter is a quiet season with temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees celsius (40 and 60 degrees farenheit). The skies in winter are often grey, but sometimes sunny and clear. If you would like to get away from the crowds, winter can be a nice time to visit. So the optimum time to travel to Yangshuo and Guilin is from March to November.
January or Feburary: Spring Festival/Chinese New Year
The Spring Festival (otherwise known as Chinese New Year) is the most important traditional festival in China. The timing follows the Chinese lunar calendar. In upcoming years, the dates are: January 23, 2012; February 10, 2013; January 31, 2014.
This festival is celebrated throughout China. People spend as much as they can afford on presents, decorations, food, and clothing. Every family cleans the house, sweeps the floors, and washes daily-use items. House cleaning is believed to drive away ill-fortune and bring good luck in the coming year. Windows and doors are decorated with red paper-cuts and couplets.
The government sponsors various cultural activities, including dragon dancing, lion dancing, and other traditional performances in the city streets.
Spring Festival is a time for the family to gather together; reunion dinner is on New Year's Eve. Food typically includes pork, duck, chicken, fish, sweet snakes, etc. The family will end the night with firecrackers to drive out evil and bring good fortune in the coming year.
This festival lasts 15 days. During this period Chinese people go to visit their relatives and friends to give new year greetings to each other. They also give "red envelopes" (money wrapped in red paper) to children in the family. Red symbolizes good luck and brings happiness for the children. People also visit temples to pray for good fortune and health.
February or March: Chinese Lantern Festival
The Chinese Lantern Festival (or Yuan Xiao Festival) is a traditional Chinese festival with more than 2000 years of history, celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the Chinese lunar calendar (February 6, 2012; February 24, 2013; February 14, 2014; March 5, 2015).
The Lantern Festival is also called the Yuan Xiao Festival, because of the sweet glutinous rice flour dumplings (tangyuan) that people eat on this day. They can be filled in with sesame, red bean or peanut filling. Usually, they are served with sugar water.
During the night of the Lantern Festival, some people in China fly sky lanterns or make lantern boat flow on the river by writing their wishes on the paper lantern and pray their wishes come true. the wishes including good fortune, family reunion, good harvest, prosperity and love. In former days, people thought the lantern will fly up to the heaven. The god of heaven will receive their messages and can blessing them. In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple. in modern times, lanterns have been embellished with different designs. They are symbol of good luck and hope.
The lantern displays can be found in the town center square and park. the government arrange traditional art performance, including dragon and lion dances, art exhibition show, etc. Modern Lantern Festival has evolved into cultural exchange event which is full of cultural content and commercial value.
April: Qingming Festival
Qingming Festival is an old traditional festival called tomb-sweeping festival. One of most important festivals in China, it is now celebrated on April 4th or 5th each year (April 5, 2011; April 4, 2012).
The festival period lasts for two weeks and is devoted to the commemoration of ancestors and deceased relatives. People offer flowers and good food and wine for the deceased, then clean the graves, burn incense, candles, and paper money, and light fireworks. Chinese people believe the dead will receive these gifts in heaven, and that they will then protect and bless the living generations. This festival occurs throughout China, but different areas have their own variations.
September: Moon Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival, also called the Moon Festival, is one of the most important festivals in China. It occurs throughout China on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2011, it will fall on September 12. Future dates include September 30, 2012; September 19, 2013; and September 8, 2014.
The 15th of any month is always a full moon in the lunar calendar. Because it is round, the full moon symbolizes reunion. Family members try to reunite on Mid-Autumn Day for a reunion dinner. If they can't gather together, they think of each other as they watch the full moon and imagine their loved ones watching the full moon in a distance place.
After an abundant reunion dinner, people like to to put fruits and moon cakes on the table, and to sitt and eat together while enjoying the full moon.
When the moon appears in the sky, many young boys and girls from nearby villages come to Yangshuo to sing dulcet folk songs to express their love. Some people make paper boats and lanterns with candles inside, then make their wishes before letting them float down the river.
November: Fishing Lights Festival
The Yangshuo Fishing Lights Festival was initiated by the local government in 1998 and usually celebrated in November. The fishing boats are decked out with lights, and fireworks light up the sky. There is a light-show on the river, folk culture and artistic performances in the park, arts, calligraphy, photography, and exhibitions of farming products exhibitions and more. On colorful West Street, visitors can enjoy a beer competition. There are also football games, chess competitions, cycling races. and other events. These activities are meant to display the rich Yangshuo culture, and the happy and prosperous life of Yangshuo County.