Xiamen Festivals and Events
Special environment of Xiamen cultivates unique local festival culture. The Lantern Festival which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, festooned vehicle parade and romantic Phoenix Flower Tourist Festival make people so enchanted as to forget about home. Xiamen International Marathon, Marine Culture Tourist Festival and Gulangyu International Piano Art Festival are famous at home and abroad.
It starts before the Lantern Festival which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month. In the evening of the Lantern Festival, parents and their children will come to the street hanging lanterns to celebrate the festival. The Ludao Lantern Show has been held in the Zhongshan Park for several years, which is a part of the Folk Culture Festival held by the two sides of the Taiwan Straits around the 15th day of the first lunar month. At the same time. Dragon Dance and Lion Dance are performed on the occasion.
Xiamen International Marathon
Sponsored by China Track and Field Society and Xiamen Municipal Government. the competition is held in the morning of last Saturday of March each year. It is the only one of its kind held in spring and in the coastal scenic area in China. Xiamen International Marathon and Beijing International Marathon Championships are the two famous marathon competition events of south and north China respectively.
Festooned Vehicle Parade
Sponsored by Xiamen Municipal Government, the parade is held in the evening of the same day with Xiamen International Marathon. The team is composed of theme festooned vehicles and performance phalanxes with the theme of sharing enthusiasm and happiness, which aims to demonstrate the combination of local specialties with international customs. The participants include local teams. the groups from other provinces and foreign countries and regions.
Phoenix Flower Tourist Festival
The festival is held when the phoenix flowers are open in May and June every other year in order to demonstrate its image as an international garden city.
Marine Culture Tourist Festival
This festival is held every other year, in the next year of Phoenix Flower Tourist Festival. It includes events on the water and beaches with the aim to publicize the marine cultural tourist products of Xiamen.
Gulangyu International Piano Art Festival
It was first held in 2002 and is jointly sponsored by Chinese Musicians Association and the former Gulangyu District Government (now the Gulangyu-Wanshishan Scenic Area Administrative Committee of Xiamen City). The large-scale music festival is held every other year on Gulangyu Island. The competitions are divided into three age groups-children group, juvenile group and young adults group, which aim to push forward the development of piano art.
Besides the festivals mentioned above, there are other festivals held irregularly in Xiamen, such as the 4'h World Choir Games. It was held on July 15-26. 2006, sponsored by Xiamen Municipal Government and International Cultural Exchange Foundation. It is the largest international chorus competition of the highest level in the world today, and the aim is peace, friendship, cooperation as well as development. The festival has 26 competitive events including children's chorus, mixed chorus, modem music, religious music, and folk rhyme. In addition, the organizing committee organized performances of Chinese martial art as well as academic symposiums on world chorus.