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The people of Asia are very cultural. They have customs, holidays, and traditions just like we do in the United States. Yet there are many things that can help you distinguish the difference between Asian Festivals or traditions to American or European. Many of of the countries have their own customs and traditions.

China’s Traditions and Holidays Some of the Legal Holidays in China include New Year held on January 1st, Spring Festival which is New Year by the Lunar Calendar, International Working Women’s Day held on March 8th, Tree Planting Day on March 12th, International Labor Day is held on May 1st and is a 3 day holiday, Chinese Youth Day is on May 4th, International Children’s Day is on June 1st, the Anniversary of the Founding of the National People’s Liberation Army or PLA on August 1st, Teacher’s Day on September 12th, and National Day on October 1st which is a 3 day holiday. The main traditional Festivals include the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, Pure Brightness Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
http://www.gac-china.com/China_Insight/China_Facts/Festivals/festivals.html
New Years and the Spring Festival are very similar, and almost the same. The Spring festival is the most important of all festivals or holidays in China. The Spring Festival is a day for family to get together and is probably the busiest time of year for the transportation systems, it is probably the equivalent of Thanksgiving or Christmas here for transportation. The Spring Festival originated from the Shang Dynasty and starts early in the 12th lunar month and ends in the middle of the 1st lunar month. Nowadays people have seven days off as given by the government. Some main traditions of this festival still remain but many have weakened over time.
Fireworks from the Spring Festival. Click on image for link to where image was found.
Fireworks from the Spring Festival. Click on image for link to where image was found.
Spring Festival decorations. Click on image for link to where it was found.
Spring Festival decorations. Click on image for link to where it was found.

http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/Festivals/78322.htm
The Lantern Festival is held 15 days after the Spring Festival and is nowadays mainly just for having fun and carrying lanterns through the streets. It basically marks the end of the Spring Festival and was believed to have Daoist origins. Pure Brightness Day is held every year around April 5th. This used to be a day for the people to make sacrifices to ancestors. These days people mainly use the time to visit tombs of ground-breaking martyrs and show respect to them. The Dragon Boat Festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month and is celebrated nation-wide. There are a number of legends and stories’ telling of how this event came to be but the most popular is by the poet Qu Yuan.
Dragon Boats, from the 2008 festival. Click image for link to where it was found.
Dragon Boats, from the 2008 festival. Click image for link to where it was found.

On the 15th day of the 8th lunar month the Mid-Autumn Festival occurs, this event used to be when the people would offer cakes to the Moon Goddess. When they were done offering cakes to the goddess families would get together and eat snacks called mooncakes. The day now exists as a day for family reunions and eating and making mooncakes.
Mooncakes from the Mid-Autumn Festival, click on image for link to where found.
Mooncakes from the Mid-Autumn Festival, click on image for link to where found.


http://www.gac-china.com/China_Insight/China_Facts/Festivals/festivals.html
Daily Life and manners in China
Chinese life and manners deal much with respect. Gifts are a more important part in their lifestyle than ours. It is expected that gifts will be given on festivals, weddings, birthdays, or when one visits a patient. Also when visiting a family party small gifts such as wine, tea, cigarettes, or candies are usually given. Also gifts are given in pairs because in China odd numbers are considered unlucky. The only even number that is avoided is the number 4, because when said in Chinese it sounds similar to the word for death. Also the word pear is a homophone for the word separation so that is also avoided. At funerals you aren’t supposed to give clocks, or things that are black or white. Also when giving gifts in public only small souvenirs are usually appropriate.
http://chineseculture.about.com/library/weekly/aa031901a.htm
Peoples of China
The largest ethnic group in China is the Han, who, as of 1990, made up 91.96% of the population. The 8.04% is made up of China’s 55 other ethnic groups. The Han are mainly found around the middle and lower areas of the Yangtze River, the Yellow River, the Pearl River Valley, and the Northeast Plains.
http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/china/people.htm#FIFTY-SIX%20ETHNIC%20GROUPS
A han woman, click on picture for link to page where found.
A han woman, click on picture for link to page where found.

Also in China there is a few unique languages spoken. The major language there is Mandarin, which is what more than 70% of the population speak and is what is taught in schools there. Other languages are sub-dialects that are mainly spoken in the Southeast region. There are also non-Hans that speak there native language such as Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur, other Turkish languages, and Korean.
This is the main mandarin alphabet, click on image for link to image source.
This is the main mandarin alphabet, click on image for link to image source.

As for religion in China the most widely practiced religion is Buddhism, with more than 100 million people practicing it. Other religions practiced in China include Taoism, then, there are 20 million Muslims, 15 million Protestants, and 5 million Catholics.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/18902.htm

Holidays and Traditions of Russia Some holidays and traditions in Russia are Christmas, Easter, New Years, Soldier’s Day on February 23rd, Women’s Day on March 8th, and International Workers Solidarity Day which is the equivalent of Labour Day. Victoria Day on May 9th is held to honor and remember the millions that died in World War II. On June 12th Russia’s Independence Day is celebrated, it started in 1991 after the adoption of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation. On November 7th is the anniversary of the socialist revolution which occurred in October 1917, even though communism no longer remains in Russia this is tradition many still hang onto.
http://russian-crafts.com/customs/russian-holidays.html
Christmas in Russia is celebrated 13 days after western Christmas on January 7th as it is celebrated by the Russian Orthodox Church which follows the Julian Calendar for Christmas. Christmas had not been celebrated in Russia after the revolution in 1917 until 1992 due to the ban on religious activities. The Russian Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas, but do to the ban he was replaced by Ded Moroz or Grandfather Frost, who brought gifts to children on New Year’s Eve.
http://russian-crafts.com/customs/christmas.html
Daily Life and Manners in Russia Daily Life is not much different from that of western life. In Russia family is very dependent with one another with one or more generation living in a small house or apartment together. Also, it is not uncommon to see many people in Russia being very active since it is quite important to them, especially the younger generations. Another popular thing for the younger generations is Night Clubs, going to movies, and bowling. This is due to the fact that restaurants can be quite expensive. In Russia the arts are another big source of entertainment, ballet, opera, and theatre are usually fairly inexpensive making them more popular for people with a smaller budget.
http://www.russia.com/blog/some-thoughts-about-daily-life-in-russia
Peoples of Russia The Slavic account for more than 85% of Russia’s population, though there also around 100 more ethnic groups in Russia. There are the Altaic people who mainly speak Turkish who are widely distributed from mid Volga, southern Ural Mountains, the North Caucasus, and above the Arctic circle. There are also the Uralic group who are a Finnic people and live mainly in north Volga, the Northwest, and the Urals. Then there are the Caucasus people who are strung throughout the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. Even though these are the main ethnic groups there are still over 100 ethnic groups that today's Russian citizens descend from.
http://www.russiansabroad.com/russian_history_115.html
An Altaic Girl in Traditional Dress. Click on image to link to where it is found.
An Altaic Girl in Traditional Dress. Click on image to link to where it is found.
A Abkhazian girl, a sub group of the Caucasus people. Click in image to link to where it was found.
A Abkhazian girl, a sub group of the Caucasus people. Click in image to link to where it was found.















The official language language of Russia is Russian, with Russian being one of the six languages of the United Nations. Also, Russia's education system has produced nearly 100% literacy and has still been reforming their education system so that students are ready to handle and work with a market economy.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3183.htm


Indian Traditions and Holidays
Some traditions and holidays of India are New Years Eve, Muharram, Good Friday, Buddh Poornima, Independence Day on August 15th, Dussehera, Deepavali, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, and Christmas.
http://www.pardesifashions.com/Tradition/holidays.aspx
Muharram is an Islamic practice which signifies the beginning of the year by the Islamic Calendar standards, during a month people fast, though fasting is not required it is said to have its advantages.
http://www.indiaparenting.com/indianculture/festivals/fest009.shtml
Dussehera goes hand in hand with the festival of Navrati which is known as “the festival of nine nights” which celebrates the Mother Goddess, Shatki and her nine forms. Right after the Navrati festival the Dussehera festival is celebrated.
http://www.festivalsinindia.net/dussehra/index.html
Deepavali or Diwali is celebrated by Hindus worldwide, and its name means festival of lights. It is held around late October and November. Probably the most important part of this festival is that Hindus light oil lamps in their house on Deepavali morning, the lighting of the candle signifies them giving thanks to the gods for happiness, knowledge, peace, and wealth.
http://www.essortment.com/all/whatisdeepaval_rgwe.htm
The birthday of Guru Nanak is celebrated in India by the Sikhs. Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion, to celebrate the people usually read prayers and holds processions.
http://library.thinkquest.org/11372/data/nanak.htm
Daily Life and Manners in India In India families are extremely close-knit, many times extended family live together, such as how two or more married couples will share finances and a common kitchen. India has extremely low divorce rates and although most people think of arranged marriages when they think of India it has become more common for there to be “love marriages” but that is mainly in the cities. In families there is usually a clear pecking order. Men are viewed above women, with the head of the house being a male usually a father, grandfather, or uncle. Women are supposed to be ever obedient to their husbands and sometimes in a few caste groups women are not allowed to remarry once widowed even if they are widowed at a young age. There are also differences between marriage depending on the religion, be it Hindu or Muslim. Another part of the pecking order is the caste system which makes it so different people have different jobs and these jobs are passed along to their children and their children’s children and so on.
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/285248/India/46443/Daily-life-and-social-customs
Peoples of India There are 6 major groups of people in India. There are the Negritos, the Australoids, the Mongoloids, Dravidians, Western Brachycephals, and Nordics.
http://www.webindia123.com/india/people/people.htm
A Dravidian child, click on image to find link to where image was found.
A Dravidian child, click on image to find link to where image was found.

Australoid people, click on image for link to where it was found.
Australoid people, click on image for link to where it was found.
The main language of India is Hindi, even though there are still 18 recognized languages. As for religions in India the main religious group are the Hindu, which over 80% of the population practice. There are also around 138 million Muslims, and there are also Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Parsis.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3454.htm