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CAHAI is a 501(c) non-profit that aims to teach about Chinese culture through events, fundraisers, and community.

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CAHAI thanks all its volunteers for participating in the mission.

Michael Ji Tong


Bo Yang


Laura Luo

Vice President

Chinese New Year
Dragon Boat Festival

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also commonly referred to as the Spring Festival, (simplified Chinese: 春节; traditional Chinese: 春節; pinyin: Chūnjié). Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, observances traditionally take place from New Year’s Eve, the evening preceding the first day of the year to the Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the year. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February. Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture, and has strongly influenced Lunar New Year celebrations of its 56 ethnic groups, such as the Losar of Tibet (Tibetan: ལོ་གསར་), and of China's neighbors. It is a holiday celebrated worldwide by all east-Asian peoples. The Chinese New Year is associated with several myths and customs. The festival was traditionally a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the New Year vary widely, and the evening preceding the New Year's Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also a tradition for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.


Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday which occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar. The fifth lunar month is considered an unlucky month. People believed that natural disasters and illnesses are common in the fifth month. To get rid of the misfortune, people would do certain rituals which eventually became the dragon boat festival. The namesake of the Dragon Boat Festival, the Dragon Boat Race arose from the legend of Qu Yuan, who was slanderedby corrupt government officials and the emperor. After he drowned himself to express his dissaproval, the common people raced to recover his body. In honor of this event, the Dragon Boat Festival has the dragon boat race, where teams of competitors race to the finish in a dragon boat. One of the foods that is made during the dragon boat festival is Zongzi, which is a rice dumpling incased in reed or bamboo leaves. the filling typically include: bean paste, nuts, jujubes, pork belly, sausage, and duck eggs. The other foods eaten during the dragon boat festival relate to the number five. For example, Hong Kong has congee made from five different beans.

dragon boat.jpg

Left: Richard Pasley, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flikr

Right: The original uploader was Allentchang at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival Is a festival where people return to their families and celebrate the full moon. In addition, people look towards to moon, as it is seen as the brightest at this time of year. During the festival, Mooncakes are eaten and lanterns are lit; both flying lanterns and wire lanterns. Iconography of the Mid-Autumn Festival includes dragons and modern cultural icons, along with the characters for luck, fortune, and wealth. The Mid-Autumn Festival stems from two seperate roots: The Autumn harvest and the myth of Chang-er. In Ancient China, it was believed that the full moon symbolized bountiful harvests, so the festival emerged from the rituals surrounding the Autumn harvest. The other root and the origin of the iconic Mooncake is the myth of Chang-er. Chang-er was a mortal woman who fell in love with the archer HouYi. HouYi had two elixers of immortality, which they planned to consume together, but one of HouYi's students learned of the elixirs and tried to steal it. To prevent the student from stealing them, Chang-er consumed both elixers. Now immortal, Chang-er ascended to the moon, as she was no longer able to walk upon the earth. HouYi would offer mooncakes to his wife every year until his death.

Mid-autumn festival mooncake and tea

Left: Shizhao, CC BY-SA 2.5 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Mid-Autumn Festial
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