Celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival by spending time with your loved ones and taking part in centuries-old traditions. The Lunar New Year traditionally runs from Lunar New Year’s Eve (last day of the month of the Chinese calendar) through to the Lantern Festival (the 15th day of the first month).
The Chinese Lantern Festival is a glowing spectacle of lanterns, fireworks, and savory food – and is one of China’s most important traditional festivals. Here are 3 ways that the Lantern Festival is celebrated in China:
- Lighting and Watching Lanterns: This is the main activity of the Lantern Festival. Dating back to the reign of Emperor Hanmingdi, the lanterns were ordered to be lit in palaces and temples to show respect to the newly introduced Buddhist faith. The custom of lighting them eventually passed down to the common people.
- Solving the Lantern Riddles: A popular activity of the festival is to guess lantern riddles. People write riddles on pieces of paper and attach them to the colorful lanterns. If a person thinks they know the answer, they take the paper off and verify their guesses with the riddle-writer. If they’re correct, they win a small gift! This tradition proves to be interesting and informative.
- Lion Dance: One of the most outstanding traditional folk arts in China, the Lion Dance is common during the Lantern Festival or other festive occasions. The dance is organized to celebrate and is believed to scare away evil and bring in good luck. Ancient people regarded the lion as a symbol of strength and bravery. Performing the lion dance is a custom by which people pray for safety and good fortune for the coming year.
Don’t forget to send a free eCard
for the Lunar New Year!