Lantern Festival: Its History, Meaning, and Celebration

Lantern Festival (Credit: Unsplash)
Lantern Festival (Credit: Unsplash)

Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. It marks the end of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. This festival has a long history and holds significant meaning for Chinese people.

In this blog post, we will discuss the history and meaning of the lantern festival, and how it is celebrated today!

History

Yuan Xiao Festival, commonly known as the Lantern Festival, is a holiday honoring deceased ancestors that are observed in China and other Asian nations on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month (Yuan). The goal of the Lantern Festival is to advance harmony, peace, and forbearance.

When Buddhist monks lit lanterns in honor of the Buddha on the 15th day of the lunar year during the Han period (206 BCE to 220 CE), this may have been the beginning of the Lantern Festival. Later, the ritual was embraced by the populace and expanded across China and other Asian countries.

Legend

 According to a myth surrounding the festival's beginnings, the Jade Emperor (You Di) was incensed at a town for slaughtering his goose.

He intended to burn down the town but was stopped by a fairy who told the residents to set out lanterns on the designated day of destruction.

Because of all the brightness, the emperor believed the town was already on fire. Because the town was spared, residents have continued to remember the occasion annually by carrying bright lanterns around the town.

Celebrations

Parades, pyrotechnics, and lion and dragon dances are additional festival events. Yuanxiao or tangyuan, little glutinous rice balls stuffed with fruits and nuts, are consumed during the celebration. The balls' round shape represents wholeness and harmony within the family.

Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is a beautiful Chinese festival that celebrates the end of the traditional New Year celebrations. It has a long history and holds significant meaning for Chinese people. In this blog post, we have discussed the history and meaning of the lantern festival, and how it is celebrated today! We hope you enjoyed learning about this special festival!

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