Lantern Festival 2024: Date, History and All You Need Know About Shangyuan Festival

Lantern Festival 2024: Date, History and All You Need Know About Shangyuan Festival

Lantern Festival, also known as Lantern Floating Festival or Shangyuan Festival, is a major holiday in China that marks the end of the Lunar New Year. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, which usually falls at the beginning of February or March on the Gregorian calendar. At this festival, families and friends come together to light up their homes with lanterns, solve puzzles, and enjoy delicious food.

Lantern Festival is a time of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation. With the full moon of the Spring Festival and the end of the Lunar New Year, the holidays have begun in China. During the Lantern Festival, houses are decorated with red, green, and blue lanterns. There is a puzzle about lanterns, and the first person to solve the puzzle will receive a gift. Small mochi musubi filled with fruits and nuts are eaten during celebrations.

Lantern Festival 2024 Date

This year’s Lantern Festival will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

History of Lantern Festival

The origins of Lantern Festival date back more than 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty. During the reign of the Ming Emperor, Buddhism spread throughout China, and the emperor was the guardian of the religion. He celebrated the festival by lighting lanterns in temples and encouraged his compatriots to do the same. This custom gradually became a common tradition, and since then, Lantern Festival has been celebrated.

Another version of the festival’s origin story involves Ti Ying, the Han Dynasty god of the North Star. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty highly valued this festival and declared it one of his most important festivals in 104 BC. He decreed that the celebration should last all night so that people could gather and enjoy the company of their loved ones.

Importance of Chinese Lantern Festival Celebrations

Chinese culture attaches significant importance to the Lantern Festival. Families and friends should gather together to celebrate their peace and unity during this time. Children solve puzzles inscribed on paper lanterns they carry during the celebration. The lighting of the lanterns represents letting go of the past and embracing optimism and hope as we begin a new year. Since red is traditionally associated with luck and happiness in Chinese culture, red lanterns are frequently seen.

Families can get together during the Lantern Festival to celebrate with friends and neighbors. This is the time to be mindful of the environment and to encourage inclusivity and peace.

Interesting Facts About China’s Lantern Festival

Lantern Design: Lanterns used during the festival are often red and oval in shape and decorated with calligraphy, paintings, or detailed embroidery. Red symbolizes warmth, well-being, and happiness, and the oval represents wholeness and togetherness.

Types of Lanterns: Different types of lanterns are used in the lantern festival, including hanging lanterns, flying lanterns, and floating lanterns. Hanging lanterns are the most common and are hung in homes and public spaces. Flying lanterns are similar to hot air balloons and are powered by a small flame that propels them into the night sky. Floating lanterns are often used during Dragon Boat Festival and are placed near bodies of water.

Lantern Puzzles: Solving lantern puzzles is a popular tradition during festivals. These riddles are written on lanterns and children answer them. Solving the lantern puzzle is considered a difficult task and is said to bring good luck.

Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival: Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is a world-famous event held in China. During the festival, visitors can experience spectacular ice lantern displays, including Zhaolin Park, where more than 1,000 ice lanterns are illuminated.

Zigong Lantern Museum: The Zigong Lantern Museum in Sichuan is the only lantern museum in China. It houses an extensive collection of lanterns and ancient cultural relics, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich history and tradition of Chinese lanterns.

Topics #Chinese calendar #Lantern Festival 2024 #moon #Shangyuan Festival

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