Lantern Competition 2022: Chinese language celebration defined, conventional meals – when is it?


The festivities attain a climax with the Lantern Competition, which falls on the fifteenth day of the primary Chinese language lunar month: in 2022, it’s celebrated on 15 February.

However what are the Lantern Competition’s origins – and the way is it often celebrated?

Right here is every little thing it’s essential to learn about it.

What’s the Lantern Competition?

Over time, the competition has developed a number of meanings. It celebrates household reunions, socialising and freedom, whereas additionally that includes historical religious traditions.

Often, households reunite on New Yr’s Eve and go to in-laws on the 2nd day of the New Yr. Retailers and companies reopen on the fifth, and after that the celebrations steadily die down.

However on the fifteenth day of the brand new 12 months – the Lantern Competition – everybody takes to the streets to have fun and lightweight lanterns.

Some regard the competition because the “true” Chinese language Valentine’s Day, relatively than the extra conventional day of Qixi.

That’s as a result of in Historical China, when girls usually weren’t allowed out of the home, on the Lantern Competition they have been in a position to have fun freely, becoming a member of in traditions and interacting romantically with males.

Regardless of its significance, the Lantern Competition isn’t a nationwide vacation, so there are not any days off for celebrations.

(Photograph: China Images/Getty Photographs)

What are the origins of the competition?

It’s thought that the Lantern Competition began greater than 2000 years in the past throughout the Han Dynasty.

At the moment, Buddhism was fashionable inside China.

Emperor Ming, listening to that monks would gentle candles for the Buddha on the fifteenth day of the primary lunar month, ordered the imperial palace and temples to gentle candles and the residents to hold lanterns.

Lighting lanterns continued as a convention for Chinese language individuals all through the dynasties which adopted.

The celebrations finally developed into the Lantern Competition recognised at this time.

What’s the lantern lighting custom?

Lanterns have change into the image of the competition, and in trendy instances, pink lanterns may be seen hanging on the street.

They can be discovered inside homes and in shops, and infrequently depict conventional Chinese language folklore and riddles.

All through historical past, numerous variations of lanterns have been created, from small, palm-sized globes to very large parade floats.

A well-known variation is the Kongming lantern, which represents hope, success and happiness.

Historically, lanterns could be gifted to newlyweds or {couples} with out youngsters to cross on blessings.

Pregnant girls would additionally obtain a pair of small lanterns to want well being and security for each mom and little one.

In some areas, lanterns are burned to find out the gender of a future little one from the form of the ashes.

Are there different traditions?

There are myriad traditions and actions that happen throughout the Lantern Competition, from lighting lanterns to moon gazing and lion dances to consuming rice balls.

Every place has its personal traditions.

Within the metropolis of Fengyang, swings play a significant function, whereas one of many sights in Hebei province is the jǐng xíng lā huā performances, the place individuals maintain followers and parasols and dance to the beat of drums.

The trademark meals of the celebration is known as yuan xiao – the identical conventional Chinese language identify of the competition itself.

It’s one in every of many Chinese language New Yr desserts within the type of rice dumplings, with candy fillings made from syrup, pink bean paste and black sesame paste.

They are often steamed or fried however are historically boiled and served in scorching water throughout the competition.

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