City parks, filled with them. Village children, running through the streets carrying them. Lanterns, absolutely everywhere! Wherever you are on February 28th, be sure to take part in the Lantern Festival.?This light-hearted holiday marks the first full moon of the Chinese New Year, and the return of spring.
Nobody knows the origin of the Lantern Festival, but the most colorful stories involve the angry Jade Emperor of Heaven. Villagers used scores of lanterns and firecrackers to fool him into thinking their homes were already ablaze, so he wouldn’t burn the village down. The Lantern Festival also used to be a prime opportunity for romance. Unwed women roamed the streets, hunting for husbands. Later singles gathered for matchmaking games.? If you’re single today, you might not be for long!
Light a lantern. Dodge a firecracker. Try to work out the riddles pasted onto lantern sides. Best of all, feast on yuanxiao, the traditional sticky rice balls with sweet stuffing. This is a big family festival, so if you don’t have relatives in China, try to get adopted, or at least invited to someone else’s family reunion