Chinese Festivals and Social Changes

Chinese Festivals and Social Changes

Instuctor: Dr. FU Yi



Course Description

This course aims to introduce and analyse the transformations of Chinese festivals along with the social changes in China. Its objectives are to strengthen students’ understandings on Chinese festivals and Chinese cultural custom, and help them critically analyse the functions of festivals and the relationships between festivals and the Chinese society. 

It consists of three parts. The first one, based on lectures, discusses the basic theoretical literatures of festival studies from the anthropological and sociological perspectives. The second part, as the most important part, is the lectures introducing some certain significant Chinese festivals, including the Spring Festival, Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Double Seventh Festival and Ghost Festival. The lectures mainly focus on the following five aspects, outlines of festivals, legends of festivals, festival custom, festival taboos, and the material culture of festivals. The third part is presentations and seminars, which encourage students to discuss their own experiences relating to Chinese festivals, critically analyse the transformation of Chinese festivals and comparatively think about Chinese festivals and the festivals in their original countries.




  • Bauman, R. (eds.) (1992). Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular Entertainments: A Communications-centered Handbook. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gai, G. & Wang, R. (2008) Exploring Traditional Chinese Festivals in China. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Education. 
  • Falassi, A. (ed.) 1987. Time Out of Time: Essays on Festival, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  • Picard, D & Robinson, M. (eds.) 2006. Festivals, Tourism and Social Change: Remaking WorldsClevedon, Buffalo &Toronto: Channel View Publications. 
  • Pieper, J. (1999). In Tune with the World: A theory of Festivity. Souch Bend: St.  Augustine's Press.
Copyright © 2010 Zhejiang University. All rights reserved.   Tel: +86-571-87981209    Office hours: Mon. to Fri. 9:00-17:00