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The Lantern Festival is cele/pated everywhere on January 15th of the lunar calendar, right after the Spring Festival. Traditionally, the Lantern Festival is a part of the Spring Festival.
This day is always the first full moon in the lunar New Year.
Across China, people cele/pate by hanging up lanterns and festoons, attending dancing and singing performances, making “Yuan Xiao” or sweet rice dumplings and lighting fireworks.This is also a continuation of the Spring Festival cele/pation. On the Lantern Festival night, the moon illuminates the dark sky while many lanterns shine /pight colors on the earth.
A few days before the lantern festival, people begin gathering oiled paper, silk cloths, bamboo sticks and flower to make all types of lanterns. Some people go to the lively streets to pick a personal favorite. The lanterns sometimes come in a series about certain folklore, holiday customs, or lucky mascots.
The Lantern Festival is also a romantic holiday. In feudal society, young girls were not allowed to go out freely. But on the night of the Lantern Festival, they were allowed to view the lantern lights in groups. Sometimes couples would go on dates strolling down the streets lit with lantern lights. Today people still invite others to view lanterns together.
There are some Lantern Festival customs
Yuanxiao is the special food for the Lantern Festival. It is believed that Yuanxiao is named after a palace maid, Yuanxiao, of Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty. Yuanxiao is a kind of sweet dumpling, which is made with sticky rice flour filled with sweet stuffing. And the Festival is named after the famous dumpling.
Guessing lantern riddles
"Guessing lantern riddles"is an essential part of the Festival. Lantern owners write riddles on a piece of paper and post them on the lanterns. If visitors have solutions to the riddles, they can pull the paper out and go to the lantern owners to check their answer. If they are right, they will get a little gift. The activity emerged during people's enjoyment of lanterns in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). As riddle guessing is interesting and full of wisdom, it has become popular among all social strata.
In the daytime of the Festival, performances such as a dragon lantern dance, a lion dance, a land boat dance, a yangge dance, walking on stilts and beating drums while dancing will be staged. On the night, except for magnificent lanterns, fireworks form a beautiful scene. Most families spare some fireworks from the Spring Festival and let them off in the Lantern Festival. Some local governments will even organize a fireworks party. On the night when the first full moon enters the New Year, people become really intoxicated by the imposing fireworks and /pight moon in the sky.
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