Introduce Your Child To The Beautiful Lantern Festival Of China
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Feb 11, 2018
Lantern Festival is celebrated in China every year on 15th of the first lunar month and is also regarded as the last day of the Spring Festival. On this day, the night sky of China is flooded with several hundreds and thousands of lanterns in the sky which is a sight to behold.
On this night, people throng the streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon and watch the lion or dragon dance, try to solve Chinese riddles and play games, enjoy local delicacies called Yuan Xiao and set off firecrackers.
Few things that you can tell your child about the Lantern Festival of China
These are some amazing trivia associated with the Chinese Lantern Festival that you can teach your child today.
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A thousand years old tradition:Celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, this festival dates back to the Han Dynasty, when Buddhist monks used to lit lanterns in order to worship Buddha. The tradition behind releasing these beautiful lanterns in the night sky is for the people to let go off their past selves and embrace new identities for the upcoming New Year.
Eating local cuisine:Called ‘Yuanxiao’ and ‘Tangyuan’ in northern and southern China respectively, the Chinese follow a tradition of eating of rice ball which is filled with sweet red bean paste, sesame paste or peanut butter and is round in shape. When families and friends come together to have this local delicacy, a form of union is felt which strengthens the love and bond among one another.
Guessing lantern riddles:This is a little game which is fun and interesting that is played by the people on the special night of the festival. Lantern owners will write riddles on a piece of paper and post them on the lanterns in advance. If visitors can answer the riddles, they can just pull the paper out and go to the lantern owners to check their answers. If they are right, they will get a little gift. This tradition started back during the Song Dynasty and is still in practice.
Watching beautiful fireworks:During the night time, in addition to the amazing display of lanterns in the sky, there is also magnificent fireworks in the night sky which marks an end of the festival. Apart from individual families, local government also organize firework display that is a sight to cherish forever.
Dragon dance:During the day time, there are performances, such as the dragon lantern dance, lion dance, land boat dance, yangge dance and some will walk on stilts and beat drums while dancing. The dragon dance is performed by a team of dancers who manipulate a long flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon. It is said that the dragon dance mimics the moves of a river. Chinese dragons are believed to bring good luck to the people and hence, the longer the dance, the more luck favour the people. These Chinese dragons are believed to possess power, dignity, fertility, auspiciousness and wisdom.