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Happy Feast!
  —Common festival greeting  

The Winter Feast (or Winter Festival) is a traditional annual celebration highly venerated by the people of the Valley of Peace (and presumably in other areas around China as well) to celebrate the coming of cold weather. During this time, the common people decorate their homes with colorful sun lanterns, have a gathering of friends and family to partake in a feast, and participate in other common traditions like party games, music, and folk dancing. In contrast, the Jade Palace hosts a formal Palace Feast for the kung fu masters from all of the provinces, in which everything is strictly observed according to formal tradition.[1]

This holiday was first seen in observance in the television special Kung Fu Panda Holiday, in which Po struggled with balancing the holiday's traditions between his father and his master. It was later also observed in the Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness episode "Present Tense".

Description

Traditional festivities

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... every feast, my dad and I spend all day cooking together. And the whole neighborhood shows up. And it gets really loud and crazy, and my Uncle Yang ends up laughing so hard noodles spurt out his nose.
Po talking about his family's holiday traditions, Kung Fu Panda Holiday
Winter-feast-common

A family hosting a Winter Feast get-together

Coming soon!

Formal festivities

Po: “The Winter Feast [at the Jade Palace] is legendary! I'll bet you got the best, biggest, brightest sun lanterns, and dancing--
Shifu: “Po, stop, stop. This is the Winter Feast. It is perfection. Always elegant. Always formal.
Po: “Awesome, awesome. I'm all about elegant. Fancy stuff, and fine dinin'...
—Discussing the formal Palace Feast, Kung Fu Panda Holiday
Winter-feast-jade-palace

The formal Winter Feast banquet at the Jade Palace

For the formal celebration at the Jade Palace, only some minor decorations are used, and no uninvited guests are allowed to attend. Every year on this holiday, kung fu masters from all of the provinces gather at the Jade Palace for an elegant and formal banquet. The traditions involve the recital of the Creed of the Masters, the wearing of silvery clothing and tall hats and headdresses, and the host having the important responsibility of planning the whole banquet, including choosing a chef and presenting them with the Golden Ladle. The host also has the authority to decide things based on their gestures, all of which have meaning, as seen in Kung Fu Panda Holiday, when Po unknowingly did the Hun-Shu Wave of Dismissal, which disgraced a rabbit chef.

Additionally, the host of the feast has their every move mimicked, as shown when Po started to tap his chopsticks nonchalantly against the table, stood, and took off his hat, and the other masters did the same. This practice is perhaps a show of respect, in order to avoid offending the host.[1]

History

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In Kung Fu Panda Holiday

PoShifuHoliday

Shifu informing Po of his duty to host the formal banquet at the Jade Palace

Coming soon!

In Legends of Awesomeness

Winter Festival

The Winter Festival feast at the Noodle Shop in the episode "Present Tense"

The Winter Feast made another appearance in the episode "Present Tense". The traditions are the same as before, only now there are more instances of gift exchanges.

Trivia

  • The Winter Feast shares many similarities with the traditional Dongzhi Festival, a prestigious festival celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during their winter solstice (on or around December 22), where families gather and eat together. It can also be observed to be a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas in some respects, as there is a huge meal (relatable to Thanksgiving), as well as colorful decorations and the occasional exchange of gifts and surprises (relatable to Christmas).

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010). Written by Jonathan Groff, Jon Pollack & directed by Tim Johnson.

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