Cultural Information: Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival Ԫ (yuan xiao jie), is a Chinese festival celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the Lunar Calendar. It is the first major festival after the Chinese New Year and is celebrated by Chinese in many countries. The Lantern Festival is also known as the Little New Year since it marks the end of the New Year's festivities.

The Lantern Festival is a very sacred, happy, and joyful festival. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night carrying bright lanterns. In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, for only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones; in modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs.

Ornate lanterns

This Festival is also known as Chinese Valentine Day. Traditionally, this date was once served as a day for love and matchmaking. It was one of the few nights without a strict curfew. Young people were chaperoned in the streets in hopes of finding love. Matchmakers were busy in hopes of pairing couples. The brightest lanterns were symbolic of good luck and hope.Those who do not carry lanterns often enjoy watching informal lantern parades. Other popular activities at this festival include eating tangyuan A,a sweet rice dumpling soup, and solving lantern riddles.

Tangyuan stuffed with sweet
black sesame paste A

Paper lantern

The popularity of lantern festivals is spreading across the globe, with paper lantern becoming a popular symbol for the festival.

This article is a modification from materials found in the Wikipedia article Lantern Festival and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

NWCCA, P.O. Box 28275, Bellingham, WA 98228