This is another instalment of our festival bucket list series. This series discusses different festivals all over the world that should have a place on your bucket list. This instalment will talk about the Lantern festival and why it should be on your bucket list. You can catch our last instalment on the La Tomatina festival here.
About the Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is also called the Spring Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao festival is a festival celebrated in China and Other Asian countries. The festival is held to honour deceased ancestors, it aims to promote reconciliation, peace and forgiveness. The Lantern Festival is usually held on the 15th of the first month of the lunar calendar. This usually falls in February or early March on the Gregorian calendar. The festival also marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. It marks the first full moon of the new lunar year. During the Lantern festival houses are decorated with colourful lanterns. Some lanterns have riddles on them and if they are answered correctly the solver earns a small gift.
The festival celebrations also include Lion and dragon dances, fireworks and parades. The Lantern festivals staple food is rice balls which are filled with fruits and nuts, called yuan xiao or tangyuan. These rice balls are eaten during the festival, their round shape represents wholeness and unity within the family. The festival dates back to the Han dynasty which is between 206 BCE to 220 CE. Then Buddhist monks would light lanterns to honour Buddha on the 15th day of the lunar year. It was later adopted by the general population and spread through Asia.
Why to Attend the Lantern Festival
During the festival, attendees can enjoy local performances, some of the performances include singing, dancing, and other musical displays. The performance makes the festival fun, delightful and very enjoyable.
It is a lantern festival, after all, the lanterns are very beautiful. Seeing all the lanterns floating around making for a beautiful viewing experience. The event is a very beautiful and memorable event.
Experience the Culture
Apart from the beauty of the event, another great reason to attend this festival is to experience the culture. There’s a lot of cultural significance attached to the festival, it’s a time to celebrate life and mourn the death of a loved ones.