The Lantern Festival is celebrated everywhere on January 15th of the lun ar calendar. This day is always the first full moon in the lunar New Year.Across China, people celebrate by hanging up lanterns and festoons, attending dancing and singing performances, making "Yuan Xiao" or sweet rice dumplings and lighting fireworks. On the Lantern Festival night, the moon illuminates the dark sky while many lanterns shine bright colors on the earth.
The traditions of viewing decorative lanterns on this night began more t han two thousand years ago in the Western Han Dynasty. In the earlier times, those beautiful lanterns were only seen in the imperial palaces. Slowly it evolved into a celebration on the grand scale for the ordinary folks everywhere. 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.
Today people still invite others to view lanterns together. Across China, the Lantern Festival is celebrated in many different styles. In places near water, people put Lotus Lanterns in the river to let them flow down stream, carrying the loss they feel for the relatives that have passed away. In the North, as traditional customs combined with modern science andtechnology, there evolved the Ice Lantern Festival. The combination of the ice and snow with colored lights, carvings, designs, and special scenery yield a spectacular winter paradise.
Sincerely wish you and your family good health and happy Lantern Festival!