chinese new year Lantern Festival Lantern Festival 2011
Lantern Festival is also called yuanxiao festival or yuanxiaojie, it on the fifteenth day of chinese new year!Lantern Festival The 15th day of the 1st lunar month. chinese valentine’s day is also Lantern Festival.
The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. So the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.
According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.
History of Lantern Festival
Until the Sui Dynasty in the sixth century, Emperor Yangdi invited envoys from other countries to China to see the colorful lighted lanterns and enjoy the gala performances.
By the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century, the lantern displays would last three days. The emperor also lifted the curfew, allowing the people to enjoy the festive lanterns day and night. It is not difficult to find Chinese poems which describe this happy scene.
In the Song Dynasty, the festival was celebrated for five days and the activities began to spread to many of the big cities in China. Colorful glass and even jade were used to make lanterns, with figures from folk tales painted on the lanterns.
However, the largest Lantern Festival celebration took place in the early part of the 15th century. The festivities continued for ten days. Emperor Chengzu had the downtown area set aside as a center for displaying the lanterns. Even today, there is a place in Beijing called Dengshikou. In Chinese, Deng means lantern and Shi is market. The area became a market where lanterns were sold during the day. In the evening, the local people would go there to see the beautiful lighted lanterns on display.
Today, the displaying of lanterns is still a big event on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China. People enjoy the brightly lit night. Chengdu in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, for example, holds a lantern fair each year in the Cultural Park. During the Lantern Festival, the park is literally an ocean of lanterns! Many new designs attract countless visitors. The most eye-catching lantern is the Dragon Pole. This is a lantern in the shape of a golden dragon, spiraling up a 27-meter -high pole, spewing fireworks from its mouth. It is quite an impressive sight!
The Festival of Lanterns takes place at the end of the Chinese New Year Celebration, on the fifteenth day of the first moon. Lanterns have been part of Chinese life for centuries so it’s not surprising to see a festival of lanterns. People usually hang lanterns in the gardens, outside the houses, and on the boats. These lanterns are signposts to guide guests and spirits of ancestors to the Lunar celebration. After a sumptuous fifteen-day feast, these lanterns light the way for the spirits back to the world beyond. Silk, paper and plastic lanterns vary in shape and size and are usually multi-colored. Some are in the shapes of butterflies, birds, flowers, and boats. Other are shaped like dragon, fruit and animal symbols of that year. The most popular type of lantern is the "horse-racing" one, in which figures or animals rotate around the vertical axis of the lantern. The special food for the Lantern Festival is Yuen Sin or Tong Yuen. These are round dumplings made with sticky rice flour. They can be filled and served as a sweet snack or made plain and cooked in a soup with vegetables, meat and dried shrimp. The round shape of the dumpling is a symbol of wholeness, completeness and unity. The Lantern Festival is an occasion for families to get together and for everyone–young, old, rich and poor to have fun.
The special food for the Lantern Festival is Yuen Sin or Tong Yuen. These are round dumplings made with sticky rice flour. They can be filled and served as a sweet snack or made plain and cooked in a soup with vegetables, meat and dried shrimp. The round shape of the dumpling is a symbol of wholeness, completeness and unity. 58en
The Lantern Festival is an occasion for families to get together and for everyone–young, old, rich and poor to have fun. 58en.