Cold Food Festival (Hanshi Festival) Date in the current year: April 5, 2016

Cold Food Festival (Hanshi Festival) The Cold Food Festival (Hanshi Festival) is a traditional Chinese festival, that is celebrated during the three next days. The festival always starts on April 5 (exception is made in leap years) and ends on April 7.

The Cold Food Festival is very ancient observation and it's primary tradition of eating only cold food is mostly not practiced. The legend says, that Prince Chong'er, the ruler of the state of Jin from 636 to 628 BC, endured many hardships during his exile. Some Jie Zhitui saved the starving prince. Since Zhitui had no food to offer prince, he cut off a piece of flesh from his thigh as sustenance.

When Chong'er became the Duke Wen of Jin, he ordered to find Jie, who had gone hiding to the mountains with his mother. Jie didn't have any political ambitions and was ashamed to work with the hypocritical fellows. When Duke learned that Jie had refused his invitation, he ordered to burn mountains to force Jie out of his hiding. Consequently, Jie and his mother died in fire.

Filled with remorse, Duke forbid setting of fire during those three days in a year. The food should be eaten cold, that gave name to the festival. The tradition of eating cold food is not practiced any more. Instead of this people visit graves of their ancients.

The Cold Food Festival is celebrated in China, South Korea and Vietnam. The traditions are kept the same, except for the name. In Korea, the festival is called Hanshik and Tết Hàn Thực in Vietnam.

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