Calendar for Spring Festival: Lantern Festival

By Zhang Wenjie, Peng Yukai (People's Daily Online) 08:50, February 15, 2022

The Lantern Festival, or Yuanxiao Festival, falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, this year, on February 15. With a history of more than 2,000 years, the Lantern Festival is a traditional folk festival, but also as an important occasion for family reunions, for family members to get together, savor delicious food and enjoy festive folk-art performances.

As the name suggests, lanterns will be hung out for the festival. The lanterns represent wishes for a bright future. Traditionally, the lanterns are red, an auspicious color in Chinese culture. Nowadays, however, lanterns are made in a variety of colors and forms, with the auspicious Chinese elements such as zodiac signs, lotus, dragons, and phoenix being favored design choices. During the evening, with all the bulbs turned on, the lantern fairs look as bright as they would during the daytime.

Lantern Festival is also called “Yuanxiao Festival” because people usually eat Yuanxiao or Tangyuan, a glutinous rice ball usually filled with sweet fillings such as red bean paste, sesame paste, or peanut butter during the festival. People believe that the round shape of the ball and its sweet fillings symbolize family unity, completeness, and happiness for the entire year. 

(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Liang Jun)


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