The lantern festival
The Chinese lantern began over 2000 years ago, the festivals has all different meaning like family reunions and Chinese society, also it has many ancient spiritual traditions. Some even call it the true Chinese Valentine’s Day.
History of the festival
The most common belief of how this all started was around 2000 years ago in western Han dynasty that the emperor at the time named Emperor Wu decided this day was a day of for worship rituals for Taiya one of the universe’s sovereigns After his reign there was intense power play and unrest among the Chinese But then there was a new emperor his name was emperor Wen and to celebrate the long awaited peace he made the 15th a national holiday and every household would light candles and lanterns its became known as “Nao” this is interpreted as basically having fun.
Emperor Ming of the later Eastern Han was a devout Buddhist. He heard that on the 15th, monks would light candles for the Buddha. He ordered the palace and temples to light candles, and for the citizens to hang lanterns
Both events then combined and eventually made the Lantern festival we know today.
Lantern Festival customs and activities vary regionally including lighting and enjoying lanterns appreciating the bright full moon, setting off fireworks, guessing riddles written on lanterns, dragon dances ,eating tangyuan, lion dances and even walking on stilts
Lighting and Watching Lanterns
Lighting and appreciating lanterns is the main part of the entire festival
When the festival comes, lanterns of various shapes and sizes there are fish, globes, dragons, goats and loads, loads more beautiful designs. The lanterns are seen everywhere including houses, shops , parks, and streets, attracting loads of people. Children might hold small lanterns while walking the streets.
The lanterns might have Chinese images and symbols such as fruits, flowers, birds, animals, people, and buildings
In Taiwanese dialect, the Chinese word for lantern basically means illuminating the future so lighting lanterns is a way for people to pray for the best in future years to come.
The ancient Chinese would often get together with some friends, Plays on words and riddles were a favorite pastime. And now During this festival, people would write riddles on the lanterns. These small games are popular with everyone. They require you to be clever and think outside the box.
Dragon dance has a history almost as long as Chinese culture itself.
The performers create impressive formations to the beat of Chinese drums and cymbals.
Chinese stilt performances are an ancient act. They stem from Chinese opera and the performers sing and dance while on stilts. Depending on their character, they have difference costumes and heights.
The trademark food of the Lantern Festival is called yuan xiao, just like the festival itself. It’s also known as t?ng yuan in the South, and one of the many tasty Chinese new year desserts
They are rice dumplings with sweet fillings made of syrup, red bean paste, black sesame paste or more. They can be steamed or fried, but usually boiled and served in hot water. They represent family reunions because tang yuan sounds similar to “reunion” Some businessmen also call these dumplings yuan bao, meaning gold or silver ingots
Despite being a night of revelry, the Lantern Festival is also a night for families. Before Chinese New Year finally ends, the family should reunite again. Take a break from the celebrations and relax with your family. Reconnect under the moon. Enjoy firework shows and performances while eating a bowl of yuan xiao.
Lantern Festival Dates from 2017 to 2020
The Lantern Festival is on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month (always between February 5 and March 7).
Year Lantern Festival
2017 February 11
2018 March 2
2019 February 19
2020 February 8