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Lantern Festival and Tang Yuan(汤圆) or Yuan Xiao(元宵)

Written by Tori Yang

Lantern Festival is China’s traditional festival. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year.

Lantern Festival is one of the biggest holidays in China. Several days before Lantern Festival, people begin to make lanterns. Lanterns are made in the shape of different animals, vegetables, fruits and many, other things. While making lanterns people usually write riddles on lanterns. On the eve of Lantern Festival, all the lanterns are hung up.

On Lantern Festival people go outside to have a look at the lanterns and guess the riddles on the lanterns. Perhaps you can see some wonderful folk performances, Dragon Dance and Yangko (Both are special Chinese dances).

In the Song Dynasty, the festival was celebrated for five days and the activities began to spread to many of the big cities in China. Today, the displaying of lanterns is still a big event on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China.
  For the special food for the Lantern Festival is Yuan Shan or Tang Yuan. They are either sweet or salty, and usually different parts of China, eat different tastes: Southerners eat sweets, and Northerners eat salty. Sweet fillings are made of sugar, Walnuts, sesame, osmanthus flowers, rose petals, or jujube paste, etc. A single ingredient or any combination can be used as the filling. The salty variety is filled with minced meat, vegetables etc. The round shape of the dumpling is a symbol of wholeness, completeness and unity.


Pictures from: Chen2011; 5068

About the author

Tori Yang