Glutinous rice balls and bright lanterns light up the Lantern Festival

By Xie Ying, Zhang Wenjie, Fanny (People's Daily Online) 10:01, February 24, 2024

Today marks the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the day when the Lantern Festival is celebrated.

Dating back over 2,000 years, the festival commemorates the first full moon night of the Chinese lunar New Year.

As an essential Lantern Festival delicacy, glutinous rice balls stuffed with a sweet or salty filling, known as yuanxiao or tangyuan, are the stars of Chinese dining tables during this celebration. In northern China, people usually enjoy yuanxiao, which is rolled in a flat basket, while those in the southern regions prefer tangyuan, which is made by wrapping a glutinous rice flour skin around the filling.

Resembling the round moon, both yuanxiao and tangyuan symbolize the Chinese people's wishes for family reunion and happiness despite their different preparation methods.

The Lantern Festival is renowned for its lively and joyous atmosphere. In China, a country with a vast territory and a large population, Lantern Festival customs vary by region. On the night of the Lantern Festival, people gather to admire beautiful lanterns, enjoy the view of the full moon, solve lantern riddles, and savor yuanxiao or tangyuan. The conclusion of the Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.

(Web editor: Xue Yanyan, Hongyu)


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