The Lantern Festival, also known as Shang Yuan Festival, falls on the 15th of January according to the Chinese Lunar calendar. As the last day of China's most important festival, the Spring Festival, this year’s Lantern Festival comes on 26 February, or today!
The Lantern Festival is believed to have originated from the Han Dynasty more than two thousand years ago. But many of the traditional customs and practices have been passed on until today. Three of the most acclaimed forms of celebration are appreciating lanterns, guessing lantern riddles, and eating tangyuan/yuanxiao.
When the festival comes, lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in many places, before family gates, in shopping malls, parks, and on streets, attracting numerous viewers. Children often hold small lanterns for fun.
Guessing lantern riddles
On some occasions, riddles in the form of words, a poem, or a phrase may be found on traditional lanterns. Lantern viewers can try to figure out these riddles, which is both entertaining and a fun way to cultivate problem-solving abilities.
On the Lantern Festival, the first full moon of a lunar year will appear, symbolizing a time for family reunion. Chinese people will eat tangyuan or yuanxiao for celebration. They are small ball-shaped dumplings made of glutinous flour and filled with different stuffing. Chinese people believe that the round shape of tangyuan or yuanxiao symbolises wholeness and togetherness.
Wish you all a happy Lantern Festival！
Author: Yuan Yiwei
Copy editor: Joshua Mayfield
Designer: Yu Yanyi
Editor: Yu Wenxi