Traditional Festivals and Their Commercialization
The Chinese Mid-Autumn festival is a traditional time for families to gather together. Many businesses take advantage of this holiday to promote their products. Some people believe that the atmosphere of traditional Chinese festivals has weakened and most festivals have become commercialized. But experts say people's ways of celebrating festivals change as society develops, and businesses are not necessarily a bad thing for festivals. Wang Ling has more:
"The festive atmosphere is weaker than before. During the holiday, I'm sure to do some shopping. The shopping malls always have sales during the festivals. In the past, I just looked forward to eating moon cakes with my family and watching the moon with them,"
Ma Lin, a woman in her 50s, talks about her experiences during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Yang Lin, Professor of Folklore at Nankai University says the way people celebrate the Festival has changed over the years.
"In the past, it was terrible if you could not see your family on the Mid-Autumn Festival. Nowadays, people may just make phone calls to their families, but they still know that Mid-Autumn Day is a day for family reunions. They can go home any time if they want to because transportation is more convenient."
As for business during the festival, Yang Lin says that it makes sense for businessmen to promote their products during the holiday. When they promote their products through sales and events, they are strengthening the festive atmosphere as well.
Yang Lihui, Professor of Folklore and Cultural Anthropology at Beijing Normal University says business provides people more ways of enjoying the holiday.
"The business sector continually offers a wider variety of considerate services to people. So, people have more choices on how to spend the holiday. Take the moon cakes for example. There are many varieties to choose from, and you can select moon cakes for your family based on everyone's tastes."
However, Professor Yang Lin from Nankai University warns that festivals cannot be celebrated just through business. To keep celebratory aspect of the festival, more work should be done.
"First, children should be taught about traditional festivals in kindergarten. Secondly, we should keep the valuable elements of the traditional festivals and preserve them for future generations. Thirdly, government guidance is important. Now we have vacation days during traditional festivals, which helps people observe the holiday."
In 2008, China announced that each of the three traditional festivals, namely the Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, is a public holiday.
For CRI, I'm Wang Ling.