The Lantern Festival is Celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month and it traditionally marks the end of the Chinese New Year period. The Festival can be traced back to 2,000 years ago, in the beginning of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220). The emperor Hanmingdi was an advocate of Buddhism and he followed the monks tradition of lighting up lanterns in the temples to show respect to Buddha, always on the 15th day of the first lunar month.
Lantern Festival in the Chinese New Year( the year of the ox)
As China is a vast country with a long history and diverse cultures, the Lantern Festival customs and activities vary according to each region, but the most traditional ones are:
• Lighting up and Watching Lanterns;
• Guessing Lantern Riddles;
• Lion Dances;
• Eating Yuanxiao – Which is a ball-shaped dumplings made of glutinous rice flour and are stuffed with different fillings such as white or brown sugar, sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, rose petals, bean paste and jujube paste or a combination of ingredients. They are usually sweet.
Typical foods from the festival
In 2021, the Festival is going to be celebrated on Friday, February 26 and people will go outdoors to look at the moon, send up flying lanterns, fly bright drones, have a meal and enjoy time together with family and friends in parks and natural areas.
(View of the sky on the day of the festival)
The end of the festival means that the Chinese New Year taboos are no longer in effect, and people take down all New Year decoration. It is also the first full moon night in the Chinese calendar, marking the return of spring and symbolizing the reunion of family.