Apple News Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Friday, Mar 2, 2018

Happy Lantern Festival

(People's Daily Online)    13:33, March 02, 2018

The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. So the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.

According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.

The Lantern Festival falls on March 2 this year.

On this special occasion, we want to share with you a story and a poem.




        战乱中,公主与丈夫失散了,并被送到隋朝一位很有权势的大臣杨素家中,成了他的小妾。在第二年的元宵节上,徐德言带着他的半边铜镜来到集市上,渴望能遇见他的妻子。碰巧,有一名仆人正在卖半面的铜镜。徐德言马上认出了这面镜子。他向那名仆人打听妻子的下落。当他得知妻子的痛苦遭遇后,他不禁泪流满面。他在妻子的那半面铜镜上题了首诗:镜与人俱去,镜归人不归。无复嫦娥影,空留明月辉。 那个仆人把题了诗的铜镜带回来,交给了乐昌公主。




During the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), there lived a beautiful, intelligent princess name Lechang in the State Chen. She and her husband Xu Deyan loved each other dearly. But before long their country was in danger of being invaded by the troops of the Sui Dynasty. Princess Lechang and Xu Deyan had a premonition that their county would be occupied by the invaders and they would have to leave the palace and go into exile. During the chaos they might lose touch with each other. They broke a bronze mirror, a symbol of the unity of husband and wife into two parts and each of them kept a half. They agreed that each would take their half of the mirror to the fair during the Lantern Festival, which is on the 15th day of the first Lunar month, in the hope that would meet again. When they were united the two halves would join together. Soon their premonition came true. During the chaos of war, the princess who lost touch with her husband was taken to a powerful minister Yang Su's house and was made his mistress.

At the Lantern Festival the next year, Xu Deyan took his half of the mirror to the fair. He hoped that he could meet his wife. It so happened that a servant was selling the other half of the bronze mirror. Xu Deyan recognized it immediately. He asked the servant about his wife. As he heard about her bitter experience, tears rolled down his cheeks. Xu Deyan wrote a poem on the half of the mirror kept by his wife: "You left me with your broken mirror. Now the mirror is back but not you. I can no longer see your reflection in the mirror. Only the bright moon but not you."

The servant brought back the inscribed half of the mirror to princess Lechang. For days, she could not help sobbing because she knew her husband was still alive and that he missed her but they could not meet forever.

The minister, Yang Su, found this out. He was also moved by their true love and realized it was impossible to get Lechang's love. So he sent for Xu Deyan and allowed the husband and wife to reunite.

From that story comes the idiom "A broken mirror joined together".






宝马雕车香满路,凤萧声动,壶光转,一夜鱼龙舞 。



The Lantern Festival Night - to the tune of Green Jade Table

by Xin Qiji, a poet in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279)

One night's east wind adorns a thousand trees with flowers

And blows down stars in showers.

Fine steeds and carved cabs spread fragrance en route;

Music vibrates from the flute;

The moon sheds its full light

While fish and dragon lanterns dance all night.

In gold-thread dress, with moth or willow ornaments,

Giggling, she melts into the throng with trails of scents

But in the crowd once and again

I look for her in vain.

When all at once I turn my head,

I find her there where lantern light is dimly shed.

(许渊冲翻译 Translated by Xu Yuanchong) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

Add your comment

Most Read

Hot News

We Recommend


prev next

Related reading