Traditional Festivals(2)–The Lantern Festival

The 15th day of the first lunar month is the traditional Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao in Chinese). Why is it called Yuanxiao? Yuanyue is another name for lunar month and the night is a full moon first in year. That’s why Chinese name it Yuanxiao. Traditionally, the Lantern Festival is a part of the Spring Festival.

Enjoyment of lanterns is a traditional custom, common saying “Trouble lantern on the day”. In Chinese history, most emperors have the belief in Buddhism who does make an order that light up to hole in awe and veneration both in palace and temple. Besides, people have to abide the order. The festival becomes grand and there is a variety of lamps burgeoning with ancient dynasties. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night carrying lanterns with much pleasure.
Aside from parading around in the streets with colorful lanterns, riddles are also a highlight of the evening, a special word game in China. Guessing riddles, coming into being first during the Song Dynasty, were called shoot tiger. The answer is hidden in a wonderful poem or the plain words, which is posted up on lantern to appeal to people. It is popular with people owing to its heuristic and entertainment.

按照习俗,人们在元宵夜晚上要吃汤圆, 因为汤圆意味着家庭团圆美满,它是这天特别的食物。汤圆又叫“圆子”,是一种用糯米粉做成的小圆球,有实心的,也有包上黑芝麻、花生等果馅。以上是中国元宵节最典型的习俗。 
Traditionally, people eat tangyuan on the night of Lantern Festival, because it symbolizes family unity and happiness. It is the special food for the day. Yuanzi is another name for Tangyuan. It is made in different ways. One is solid. Another one is made of glutinous rice flour having black gingili, peanuts and other nuts in it.  That’s typical customs of the Lantern Festival.


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