On the 15th day of the first lunar month, two weeks afterward Chinese New Year, another significant traditional Chinese festival, the Chinese Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Jie or Yuanxiao Festival is renowned. It symbols the first full moon of the new lunar year and the close of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) period. Chinese Lantern Festival 2022 will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 15th, 2022.
On the night of the Chinese Lantern Festival, streets are adorned with colorful lanterns, often with puzzles written on them. People eat sweet rice balls called tangyuan, watch dragon and lion dances, and set off firecrackers.
Lantern Festival Images 2022
When is the Chinese Lantern Festival 2022?
Chinese Lantern Festival is on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month always between 4th February and 6th March. In 2022, the Chinese Lantern Festival will fall on Tuesday,15th February.
The Significance of the Chinese Lantern Festival 2022
Chinese New Year, also named Spring Festival in China, marks the start of the Spring season. The Chinese Lantern Festival symbols the final day of these celebrations. After the Lantern Festival, Chinese New Year prohibitions are no longer in consequence, and all New Year decorations are taken down. Some people still wait till after the festival to reappearance to work or study. The lanterns signify people letting go of the past year and welcoming the new year with good fortune.
The Roots and Stories of Chinese Lantern Festival
Chinese Lantern Festival can be outlined back to 2,000 years ago. There are numerous source stories about it. Here are two of the most popular ones:
Origin Story 1: A Buddhist Celebration
Governing the starting of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220), Emperor Hanmingdi was an advocate of Buddhism. He overheard that some monks lit lamps in their temples to display admiration for Buddha on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.
Consequently, he well-organized that all the temples, households, and royal palaces should light lanterns on that evening. This Buddhist convention progressively turn out to be a grand holiday among the people of China.
Origin Story 2: A Trick Played on the Jade Emperor
A myth has it that the Jade Emperor’s favorite crane was slew by some villagers. So, he decided to finish the village with fire on the fifteenth day of the lunar year. The Jade Emperor’s daughter felt very sad about this and warned the villagers about what was going to occur.
Then, an intelligent man recommended the villagers to hang red lanterns to give the Jade Emperor the impression that the village was previously on fire. The emperor was misled and the village survived. This tradition of hanging red lanterns on the fifteenth day of the lunar year has sustained until the current time.
How Do Chinese Celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival?
The most widespread civilizations to rejoice Yuanxiao Festival are relishing lanterns, guessing lantern riddles, eating tangyuan, and lion/dragon dances.
1. Lighting and Watching Lanterns
Lighting and increase in value lanterns are the key actions of Yuan Xiao Jie. Lanterns are seen everywhere as well as in houses, shopping malls, parks, and streets. The lanterns are almost always red to raise a decent fortune.
Lighting lanterns signify “illuminating the future”. It is a method for people to implore that they will have smooth futures and to express their best wishes for their families. In the Taiwanese Mandarin dialect, the Chinese word for lantern (灯 dēng) is pronounced similarly to (丁 dīng), which means ‘to have a new-born baby, so in Taiwan putting up lanterns could even express a wish for couples to have a baby!
During the Lantern Festival, many big lantern fairs are held in China, such as Qinhuai International Lantern Festival in Nanjing and Shanghai Yuyuan Lantern Festival. The lanterns’ artwork vividly illustrates traditional Chinese imagery and symbols, such as fruits, flowers, birds, animals, people, and buildings.
2. Guessing Lantern Riddles
Guessing lantern puzzles were in progress in the Song Dynasty (960–1279), and it is one of the most significant and popular activities of the Lantern Festival. Lantern owners write puzzles on paper notes and paste them on the colorful lanterns. People crowd around to guess the riddles.
If someone thinks they have the right answer, they can pull the riddle off and go to the lantern owner to check their answer. If the answer is correct, there is typically a small gift as a prize.
3. Eating Tangyuan
Eating tangyuan is a vital custom of the Lantern Festival. Tangyuan also called yuanxiao in the north, are balls of glutinous rice cooked in a sweet soup.
As tangyuan is pronounced similarly to tuanyuan which means ‘reunion’ and ‘completeness’, Chinese people trust that the round shape of the balls and bowls symbolize completeness and friendship. The widespread fortunate saying when eating Happy reunion!
4. Watching Dragon Dances and Lion Dances
As two of the most outstanding old-style folk dances in China, dragon and lion dances are common during the Lantern Festival. Chinese people (traditionally) regard the lion as a symbol of bravery and strength and believe that its arrival can drive away wicked and defend people and their livestock. Chinese people respect the dragon and favour it as a sign of good luck.
Chinese Lantern Festival 2022 Food
The most traditional food eaten at the Chinese Lantern Festival is tangyuan also called yuanxiao in northern China. They are ball-shaped dumplings, made of sticky rice flour and full of dissimilar fillings, such as brown sugar, sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, bean paste, jujube paste, or a combination of ingredients. They are typically sweet.
It is a must-eat food at the Chinese Lantern Festival due to its propitious sense in every piece from its rounded shape to its sweet taste and fine-sounding enunciation.
- Its round shape symbolizes completeness and fullness.
- Its sweet taste symbolizes a sweet and pleasing life.
- Tangyuan sounds like to tuanyuan, which means ‘reunion’. It, therefore, symbolizes family reunion, harmony, and happiness.
Yuanxiao can be boiled, fried, or steamed, and are usually served in enflamed rice soup, called tianjiu
It is whispered that the custom of eating tangyuan was invented during the Song Dynasty era and turn into widespread during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) successional periods.
Lantern Festival Gif 2022