Lantern Festival

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Lantern Festival in Taiwan
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Lantern Festival in Taiwan

The Lantern Festival (Template:Zh-stp) is a traditional Chinese festival/holiday, which is celebrated by the Chinese in many countries. On the Chinese calendar (a lunar calendar), the Lantern Festival is on the fifteenth day of the first month, making it the first major festival after the Chinese New Year. The Lantern Festival is also known as the Little New Year since it marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year.

During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night carrying bright lanterns. In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, for only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones; in modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in shapes of animals.

Traditionally, the date once served as a day for love and matchmaking. It was one of the few nights without a strict curfew. Young people were chaperoned in the streets in hopes of finding love. Matchmakers acted busily in hopes of pairing couples. Often, those with brightest lanterns were deemed good luck and hope.

Those who do not carry lanterns often enjoy watching informal lantern parades. Other popular activities at this festival include eating tangyuan (Template:Zh-stp), a sweet rice dumpling soup, and guessing lantern riddles, often messages of love.

See also

zh:元宵节

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