7 Beautiful Lantern Festivals and How They Are Celebrated Worldwide

Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. It is one of the most important festivals in China and is celebrated by people all over the world. The festival is a time for family reunions, and lanterns are lit to celebrate the coming of spring.

Lantern Festival (Credit: Pexels)
Lantern Festival

There are many different ways that Lantern Festival is celebrated around the world, each with its own unique traditions and customs!

In this blog post, we will discuss how lantern festivals are celebrated worldwide. We will also explore the origins of this festival and some of its most popular traditions.

1. Lantern Floating (Hawaii)

Each Memorial Day, Lantern Floating Hawaii organizes a gathering on the beach for thousands of locals and tourists to mourn and honor their loved ones who have passed away.

The inaugural festival on the island was held in 1999 at Keehi Lagoon and was sponsored by the international Buddhist organization Shinnyo-en. Ala Moana Beach, a sandy area between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, has hosted the festival since 2002.

Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the leader of the Shinnyo-en community, leads a prayer after a series of traditional performances by neighborhood musical ensembles. After that, when the sun sets, participants release floating lanterns into the Pacific Ocean with the intention of bringing about recollection, optimism, and good fortune.

2. Full Moon Lantern Festival (Vietnam)

Every month, on the full moon night, or the fourteenth day of the lunar calendar, Hoi An hosts the Vietnamese Lantern Festival. Vietnamese people, who follow Buddhist traditions, believe that lighting lanterns during a full moon will bring them prosperity, good fortune, and happiness.

At 8 o'clock in the evening, the entire city turns off the electricity as a way of celebrating, allowing the streets to be magically lit by lanterns. The little paper lanterns can be thrown into the river by locals and tourists alike. As an added treat, guests can also relax in a traditional canoe for enchanting views of the lights strung throughout the city and on the sea.

3. Pingxi Lantern Festival (Taiwan)

On the final day of the Chinese New Year, thousands of people gather in the mountain village of Pingxi for its annual lantern festival.

Lantern Festival -  Pingxi Lantern Festival (Taiwan) (Credit: Pexels)
Lantern Festival - Pingxi Lantern Festival (Taiwan)

A kind of ancestor worship, the Pingxi Lantern Festival has been celebrated for more than 100 years. In an effort to get their prayers heard by their ancestors, participants in the festivities write their wishes on paper lanterns and release them into the night sky.

Taiwan only permits the launching of sky lanterns in Pingxi due to the area's geology and mountains, which prevent the lights from rising too high. Once you get to the town, you'll see that there are a ton of stores selling lanterns of all different shapes, sizes, and colors to symbolize various wishes.

4. Loi Krathong (Thailand)

The Loi Krathong holiday, which is extensively observed throughout Thailand, falls on the same weekend as the Yi Peng Festival. Both yearly occasions are referred to as "festivals of light," although Loi Krathong celebrations entail dropping a krathong (a basket usually built from a banana stalk and filled with candles and incense) into a body of water rather than releasing lanterns into the air.

On the full moon of the 12th month of the conventional Thai calendar, Loi Krathong lasts for one night. Although Bangkok and Sukhothai host the most well-known celebrations, tourists in Chiang Mai for the Yi Peng Festival will also be able to witness Loi Krathong activities in the region's biggest city.

5. Spring Lantern Festival (China)

The Chinese Spring Lantern Festival, which has been observed for more than 2,000 years, commemorates the conclusion of the Chinese New Year. It is a national holiday and the start of the Chinese lunar calendar's first full moon night.

Travelers can enjoy eating tangyuan, witnessing lion dances, burning lanterns, and solving the riddles that are printed on the lanterns. Although the lanterns are not thrown into the night sky in China, towns hang blazing yellow and red lanterns all over the place, creating a stunning light display.

The Qinhuai International Lantern Festival in Nanjing, the Yuyuan Lantern Festival in Shanghai, and the Yuexiu Park Lantern Fair in Guangzhou are the greatest locations to experience this cultural festival.

6. St. Johns Night (Poland)

The longest day and shortest night of the year in Poland coincide with St. John's Night, a festival honoring the summer solstice. Although tourists can experience this lovely festival all around the nation, Poznan hosts the biggest celebration.

Participants engage in a variety of activities, such as jumping over bonfires, releasing their woven flower wreaths with lit candles to float on the water, and dressing up in traditional attire while drinking and dancing to the music. This party is lively and entertaining.

Thousands of lanterns are launched together with fireworks displays to cap off the festivities, lighting up the June sky.

7. Rise Lantern Festival (Las Vegas)

The Rise Lantern Festival, an environmentally sustainable festival of love, hope, and prayer, takes place every year in Nevada's Mojave Desert. In order to create a spiritual celebration in the United States, this event took inspiration from flying lantern celebrations like those that take place in Thailand and Taiwan.

Travelers will take in an afternoon of live music during the event before releasing lanterns with unique messages on them at dusk. This event is accessible to people of all faiths and is not exclusive to any one religion or belief system. Participants will add personal meaning to the ritual by sharing what releasing a lantern means to them.

Lantern Festival

The lantern festival is a time for family reunions and celebrations all over the world. It is a time to come together and enjoy the festivities. The lantern festival is a beautiful tradition that brings light into the darkness of winter. We hope you enjoyed learning about how lantern festivals are celebrated worldwide!