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Protection of Chinese festivals

Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng has called for new protective measures to prevent celebrations of traditional Chinese festivals dying out.

"We need to draw more attention from people in all walks of life by including traditional festivals in school textbooks, improving publicity and encouraging people to celebrate them," Sun said.

In a recent nationwide campaign to protect cultural heritage, almost all traditional festivals were included in a list of cultural heritages under national-level protection.

A group of Chinese law makers and political advisers have maintained that important traditional festivals should be made public holidays so that people have time to celebrate them. A large number of netizens echoed their suggestions. When asked to comment on this, Sun did not respond directly.

But he went on to stress that the preservation of traditional festivals is crucial for China's cultural heritage protection.

Sun acknowledged that traditional festivals are gradually fading away and it seems that the Chinese people prefer to remember the solar calendar rather than the lunar calendar on which the traditional festivals are based.

The Spring Festival, or the Chinese lunar New Year, is one of the best-preserved traditional festivals and many foreign leaders have delivered speeches and hosted celebrations especially for the Chinese Spring Festival in recent years. The Spring Festival has thus become a widely recognized brand overseas for the promotion of Chinese culture.

In China, there are many famous traditional festivals including the Spring Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival. There are also many other festivals of minority ethnic groups, such as the Water Splashing Festival of the Dai ethnic group in southwestern China.

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