Lantern Festival is one of the most visually exciting holidays of the Chinese New Year season The Lantern Festival is one of the most visually exciting holidays of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
The festival falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, marking the end of the lunar new year celebrations. It will fall on Tuesday, 15 February this year. Yuan Xiao Festival, also known as Lantern Festival, is celebrated in China and other Asian countries that honor deceased ancestors. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, the Lantern Festival seeks to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. This holiday marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the end of the Chinese New Year.
What Is The Lantern Festival?
The festival has developed multiple meanings over the years. As well as celebrating family reunions, socializing, and freedom, ancient spiritual traditions are also celebrated.
Typically, families get together on New Year’s Eve and visit their in-laws on the second day of the new year. Following the 5th, the celebrations gradually fade, with shops and businesses reopening. But on the 15th day of the new year, the Lantern Festival, the whole city celebrates and lights lanterns.
Some regard the festival as the “true” Chinese Valentine’s Day, rather than the more traditional Qixi holiday. This is because at the Lantern Festival, when women in Ancient China were often forbidden to leave the house, they were able to participate in traditional festivities and develop romantic relations with men. Lantern Festival isn’t a national holiday, so there are no days off for celebrating.
How Is It Celebrated?
Throughout China and Taiwan, there are many amazing events to commemorate the festival. They paint pictures of pandas and cats or write messages of hope for the new year on their lanterns. They each have their own meanings, such as prosperity or good fortune in love. These wishes are symbolically carried by lanterns to the heavens.
Lantern festivals have come to encompass more than lanterns, with other traditions being followed as well. Yanshui Fireworks Festival is considered the most dangerous firework festival in the world. A large structure decked with firecrackers is set off by people in thick protective clothing.
The event is dedicated to a god named Guan Gong, who the town’s residents believe saved them from a plague during the 19th century. Additionally, there is the Bombing of Master Han Dan, which takes place in Taitung, a city in the south.
Volunteers dress up as the god of wealth, Master Han Dan, wearing nothing but red shorts and a scarf as part of this equally dangerous tradition. Firecrackers are then thrown at him, which they believe helps Master Han Dan gain power.
How Did The Lantern Festival Start?
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the Lantern Festival may have originated during the Han dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE), when Buddhist monks would light lanterns in honor of Buddha on the 15th day of the lunar year. Eventually, the rite was adopted by the entire Chinese population and spread throughout Asia.
According to legend, this tradition originated in Pingxi, a small hillside town that has become an unlikely tourist destination. To honour its folklore, the Taiwanese Government made the festival official in 1990.