Customs of the Chinese Lantern Festival

The annual Chinese Lantern Festival is one of the most important and long-going traditional festivals in China, ang there are various customs of this special festival in different areas in China, but in most districts there are three customs as following:

Custom 1: Eating Yuanxiao

Yuanxiao is the special food for the Chinese Lantern Festival, and it is also named Tangyuan in Chinese. 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.

It is very easy to cook - simply dump them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes - and eaten as a desert.

Custom 2: 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.

Custom 3: Watching Fireworks

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.

And on the night when the first full moon enters the New Year, people become really intoxicated by the imposing fireworks and bright moon in the sky.

* Originally archive: Customs of the Chinese Lantern Festival