Best time to go to China

Lantern Festival 2020

Dragons, butterflies, flamingoes, bears, and rabbits! You'll be amazed the shapes these different lanterns can take!

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The Chinese Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. That's usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. After the Chinese Spring Festival, it is the first significant festival for the Chinese people to denote the end of the Chinese New Year Festivities. On the night of the celebration, thousands of lanterns light up the streets. They hang at storefronts and homes, laying a foundation for the colourful processions and performances to come.

Although it all started with glass, silk, and paper, modern Chinese lanterns have magically turned into works of art of all colours and shapes. Still, the most common is the typical red balloon which is found everywhere during the main Chinese celebrations and symbolizes Chinese culture all around the world.

Yuanxiao Festival in Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China 2020
Yuanxiao Festival in Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China
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Chinese Lanterns are more than just decorations—each kind of lantern means something. In general, they are often red and they symbolize good fortune, joy, and vitality. Some of them mean letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year. On the other hand, white ones mean death in the family.

In the past, the Lantern Festival was also known as Chinese Valentine’s day. In the old times, there were restrictions for young girls to go out, and the Lantern Festival was an excellent chance for them to find love while enjoying fireworks and colourful lantern spectacles. It was also a reasonable chance for lovers to meet.

Sky Lanterns 2020
Sky Lanterns

Traditional celebrations without food? No, thank you. Welcome, Tangyuan—sticky rice balls usually filled with peanut butter, sweet red bean or sesame paste. Its round shape, as well as the bowls in which they are served, symbolize strong family unity—it is believed that eating tangyuan means good luck and happiness in the new year.