Explainer: All the pieces You Deserve to Know About Lantern Competition

The Explainer is where we point out an facet of Chinese language life. Easy. So now you perceive.

So what’s this competition that falls correct after Chinese language Contemporary Year when all and sundry is already aid to work? 

Lantern Competition is a typical occasion that takes pronounce every 365 days on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar calendar (in overall February or March). This 365 days it takes pronounce on February 24.

Despite the truth that Lantern Fest isn’t an legit public vacation, it’s been spherical for over 2,000 years. Activities comprise lighting fixtures fireworks and searching at lanterns whereas the corpulent moon is unique. 


Image via SimonQ錫濛譙/Flickr

This particular occasion is also identified as ‘Yuan Xiao Competition’ (元宵节) as a end result of a typical custom where households celebration to eat rice balls. These candy snacks near loaded with reasonably loads of forms of fillings — sesame, jujube paste and dried fruit, true to title a few —  and are identified as ‘yuan xiao’ or ‘tang yuan.’


Image via @miaomiaoleileilei/Instagram

Different than the behold of magnificently illuminated lanterns and the launching of fireworks, for the time being is effectively-known via a amount of other activities.

One such custom is the riddle guessing recreation, a convention that has been spherical for the rationale that Tune Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Sheets with riddles are hung from the lanterns, and people are expected to guess the answers. If guessed accurately, you can opt up a prize.

Image via 凌智 (Suzuki)/Flickr

Lion dances are one more custom fashionable to Lantern Competition and are believed to bear been first presented throughout the length of the Three Kingdoms (220-280 AD).

In Northern China, skill is the first focal level for the dances, whereas in South China, dancing to intently resemble the actions of a lion is the fundamental component. Moreover the lion dances, performers would possibly per chance possibly also stand up on stilts to settle on a survey at out complex stunts. 

This article was originally printed on February 10, 2017. It has been updated and republished on January 30, 2022.

[Cover image via Pexels]

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