The Lantern Festival or the Spring Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Usually falling in February or early March on the Gregorian calendar. Chinese Lantern festival is celebrated on the first full moon of the lunar year. This festival marks the ending of the Chinese new year Spring Festival. People in China wish each other “Happy Lantern Festival”. Go out to see the full moon and enjoy the authentic Chinese dishes and spent quality time with friends and families outside
Celebration Of Chinese Lantern Festival 2019 FEBRUARY (TUESDAY) 2019
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History of the Lantern Festival
The history of the celebration of the Chinese Lantern festival can be traced back to 2,000 years ago. In the beginning, China was ruled by the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220), Emperor Hanmingdi was the keen follower of Buddhism. He saw that some Buddhist monks are lightning lanterns to show respect to Buddha on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. From that year this Buddhist custom changed into grand Chinese Lantern Festival.
IMPORTANCE OF LANTERN FESTIVAL
This lantern festival is very important in Chinese culture. After the Lantern festival, the taboos of Chinese new year are no longer effective. The Lantern Festival is also the first full moon night in the Chinese calendar, marking the return of spring and symbolizing the reunion of the family. Most of the families are not able to enjoy the family reunion as the Lantern Festival is not considered a public holiday.
CELEBRATION OF CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL
The last day of the spring festival with lots of fireworks, firecrackers and the aroma of authentic Chinese dishes makes the Chinese Lantern Festival an unforgettable experience. Here are some must-do activities during the Chinese Lantern Festival.
Making lanterns is an important aspect of the Chinese Lantern Festival. Chinese people are blessed with creativity, it is clearly visible in lanterns available during these festivals. Some of them even buy if they are not able to make lanterns. The endless varieties of lanterns are made having different colors, shapes, and sizes. The red color simple lantern is all time favorite among Chinese Lantern Making. The lanterns represent the 12 animals of the zodiac, heroic figures or historical scenes. The old custom to show respect to Buddhism with the lightening of lanterns is still visible in this Chinese Lantern Festival.
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The lantern depicts the old rich history of Chinese culture. They give aesthetic pleasure. Chinese people love to solve the riddles written on the lanterns. They often try to find out the meanings and answers to the riddles. When they answer the riddle the owner of the lanterns gives small gifts in exchange of correct answers.
From so many authentic Chinese dishes, the rice dumplings are the main attraction in the menu during the Chinese Lantern Festival. People love to eat Tangyuan (rice dumplings) with their families and friends. It’s a kind of sweet dish.
Another popular custom during the Chinese Lantern Festival is to watch Lion Dance. In a Lion Dance, two people hide under a lion outfit, one manages the head and forelegs, and the other the back and rear legs.
Then, following the beat of musicians often playing gong, cymbals or a drum live, the two people in the lion outfit make the lion dance. Chinese people find these lion dances very entertaining as the dancers imitate lion movements and roar in a comic way. The lion symbolizes bravery and the Chinese believes that the lion dance brings good fortune to them and they pray for a happy life ahead. The dance carries a meaning that time has come to empower yourselves.
Chinese Lantern Festival in Hong Kong
The Spring Lantern Festival in Hong Kong is celebrated on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. The festival is also known as the Yuan Xiao Festival, because of the popular Rice Ball that is eaten during the festival. The event will be marked by lighting the iconic Chinese Red Lanterns representing the hope for 2019.
Things to do during the Lantern Festival in HONG KONG
# Hong Kong: Visit lantern exhibition
The prime attraction in Hong Kong is lantern exhibition. It lightens every night. The lanterns are exhibited by LSCD inside the grounds of HK Cultural Center, which just steps away from the Kowloon Star Ferry Pier. The lanterns are in various sizes and shapes. They are very vibrant in colors.
# Hong Kong: Take a tour of the Lunar New Year Carnival
The Carnival happens on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year also known as Spring Lantern Festival. There are many performances by various groups and artists which change from Year to Year. This carnival is also organized by LSCD in HK Cultural Centre itself.
Chinese Lantern festivals are the most beautiful festivals celebrated in China. The Buddhist monks light the lanterns and show their respect towards Buddhism. The Chinese believe that lightning will end the darkness and brings a lot of good fortune and health to them. People pray for a happy life and the females who want to mother walk under the lanterns and make a wish for a child. It is said that if you want your wish to come true, you must walk under a hanging lantern and pray for what you want.
So, at the end of the day, people light their lanterns and watch them fly away in the dark sky, accompanied by fireworks. Releasing the lanterns, which are red for good luck, symbolizes people letting go of their past selves and embracing new identities for the coming year.
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