Chinese Lanterns are a symbol of joy and good fortune
What is the story behind the Chinese Lantern Festival?
The Lantern Festival may originate as far back as the Han dynasty when Buddhist monks would light lanterns on the 15th day of the lunar year in honor of the Buddha. The rite was later adopted by the general population and spread throughout China and other parts of Asia.
Throughout the ages, the Chinese have used lanterns not only as sources of light or simple paper decoration, but they symbolize vitality, social status, and good luck. Around the world, the round, red lantern remains one of the most easily recognized trademarks of Chinese culture.
Traditionally, there were three major types of Chinese lanterns: hanging, flying, and floating. In recent times, a new type of lantern has become increasingly popular: giant, colorful lanterns representing various motifs.
The Lantern Festival through the ages
Whatever its origins, the Lantern Festival soon developed into a popular Chinese holiday. Thanks to Chinese cultural influence on other Asian countries, it didn’t take long for the festival to spread to neighboring nations like Korea and Japan.
The Lantern Festival has been celebrated with varying degrees of pomp and circumstance over the years. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), lantern festival celebrations lasted for three days. They were extended to five days during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE). In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE), celebrations were particularly lengthy, with some lasting a full 10 days.
Watch here: 2021 Chinese Lantern Festival