Celebrating the Chinese Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year Festivities with the first full moon of the year. On this brightly lit night, thousands of lanterns line the streets, hung from homes and storefronts, setting the stage for the processions and colorful performances to end the festivities.
Children carry their lanterns around the village and families come together to eat sweet rice balls for good fortune and family unity.
Lantern Display in Shanghai
About Chinese LanternsChinese Lanterns are more than just decorations. Through the years, they have had different functions and served as a means of communication. Red Lanterns have traditionally been a sign of joy and vitality, when placed on the doorways, it was a way of participating a birth or impending marriage.
A White Lantern, on the other hand, meant a death in the family.
Nowadays, the most common lantern is the Red Balloon which is found all over during main Chinese celebrations and throughout Chinatowns around the world, it has become a symbol of Chinese Culture.
Red Lanterns make beautiful decorations, give a festive mood to any setting and can be found easily at your local Chinese goods store or even better make your own!
Chinese Lanterns were traditionally made of silk, paper and even glass.
Although the most common is the typical red balloon lantern, nowadays Chinese Lanterns come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
There are lanterns in shapes of boxes, lotus flowers, dragons, butterflies and all sorts of animals.
They range from the small lanterns carried by hand made of paper by school children to gigantic floats shaped in the Chinese Zodiac animal for that year made by teams of craftsmen, like this huge Dragon Lantern made for the Year of the Dragon in Hong Kong:
Hong Kong Year of the Dragon Lantern Display
Make Your Own Chinese Paper Lantern
Making your own Chinese paper lantern is easy. All you need is some paper, scissors and glue, we show you how here.
Lantern Festivals Around the World
There are many legends as to the origins of the Lantern Festival and many popular traditional practices have evolved through the years.
One particular celebration in the mountain area of PingXi right outside Taipei is particularly stunning. Known as the "Festival of the Sky Lanterns", hundreds of lanterns decorated with pictures and calligraphy with "lucky sayings" are lit and released into the sky in unison.
Click on the arrow and take a look at this delightful video, it's a short one-minute clip:
And check out our Pinterest board for more Lantern Festivals around the world!
More Chinese Festivals:
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About Chinese LanternsChinese Lanterns are more than just decorations. Since 250 B.C. they have silently spoken of births, deaths, social status and approaching danger.
Banned during the Cultural Revolution, today they have resumed their place as honored guests at ceremonies and festivals.
Traditional Chinese Red LanternsThe placement and color of lanterns serve as a vital communication link in the communities. For example, since red suggest vitality and energy at its maximum state, a red lantern placed outside a doorway tells of a birth or marriage.
Chinese Lantern Festival 2016
The Lantern Festival is the perfect finish to the Chinese New Year Festivities, it will be on February 22, 2016.
Chinese New Year Ornaments and Decorations
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