Happy Lantern Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival
Lovely Lanterns and Sweet Dumplings

(Downloaded from Yahoo & Revised, 02/05/01 )

The Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao Jie (1) is a traditional Chinese festival, which is on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese New Year. This Festival marks the end of the celebrations of the New Year.

Chinese started to celebrate the Lantern Festival from the Han Dynasty(206 BC - 221 AD) (2).
Like most other Chinese festivals, there is also a story behind the Festival.  It is also believed that the Festival has Taoist origins (3).

This is a festival for people having fun On the night of the Festival, people go on streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon, watching lions or dragon dancing, playing riddles (4) and games, and lighting up firecrackers. There is really a lot of fun for the young and the old. The Festival is not well celebrated in the US, though you may find celebrations in some Chinese communities, such as Hsin Lai Temple, Hacienda Heights, California (5).

Yuanxiao is the special food for the Lantern Festival. It is believed that Yuanxiao is named after a palace maid (6), Yuanxiao, of Emperor Wu Di (7) of the Han Dynasty. Yuanxiao is a kind of sweet dumpling (8), which is made with sticky rice (9) flour filled with sweet stuffing. And the Festival is named after the famous dumpling. Yuanxiao is sticky, sweet and round in shape, symbolizing family unity, completeness and happiness.

1. 元宵節    2. 漢朝    3. 與道教有關    4.猜謎語    5. 美國加州西來寺

6. 宮女    7. 漢武帝    8. 湯圓    9. 糯米