Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

While searching for a good image to add to my post about the Lantern Festival I found the one below. It was taken in Pingyao the UNESCO Heritage cite, nominated due to exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, founded in the 14th century. This Ancient City still exists in its historic form of the county-level cities of the Han people in Central China from the 14th to 20th century.

Pingyao Lanterns

During the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), one of the emperors gave an order to light lanterns in the imperial palace to worship and show respect for Buddha on the 15th day of the first lunar month. Later, beginning from the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) the tradition of writing the guessing riddles on lanterns for the guests got popularity. During the festival, houses are decorated with colourful lanterns and the gifts presented to those who get the most right answers. Lantern Festival, also called Yuan Xiao Festival, also celebrated in other Asian countries on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar in honour of the deceased ancestors. The Lantern Festival aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness.

Lantern Festival, also called Yuan Xiao Festival, also celebrated in other Asian countries on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar in honour of the deceased ancestors. The Lantern Festival aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. The holiday marks the first full moon of the New Lunar Year and the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

 This year the Lantern Festival is celebrated on Friday, February 26, 2021. Began over 2000 years ago, the festival has developed many meanings. It celebrates family reunions and society. It features ancient spiritual traditions. No matter, on the 15th, everyone—regardless of age or gender—go out onto the streets to celebrate. In Ancient China, women usually weren’t allowed out the house. But on this night, they can stroll freely, lighting lanterns, playing games and interacting with men. This a bit wild and romantic side of the Lantern Festival  gave it another name – some call the Lantern Festival the “true” Chinese Valentine’s Day! In modern time the Lantern Festival symbolizes reunions, socializing and freedom.

Dragon Fruit cake with "Lantern" design
Cake with “Lantern” design

Throughout history, countless variations of lanterns have been created. They can be small globes that fit in your palm, or as large as a parade float. People make lanterns in symbolic designs as well…

We made a cake with Lantern” design! And to make even more symbolic used some fruit (see riddle below) for decoration and as part of ingredients… If interested – recipe here.

And the riddle: “This fruit name is made of two words; the first is an animal with several tongues and thick skin; and the fruit is growing on the cactus!”

Some interesting information about lunar/moon calendar, phases and more ttps://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/