Any special thing about the Chinese Lantern Festival? PDF Print E-mail


Lantern23Lanterns: In the Far East, lanterns are easily found in temples, and on festival celebrations and ceremonies; moreover, they sometimes serve as shops signs.  A traditional lantern is structured with bamboo or wood sticks, and covered with a piece of paper or cloth; in the middle is a little candle-holder.  Traditional paintings, calligraphy and knots are used on lanterns as decoration.  Modern lanterns with metal frames, plastic bodies and decorative patterns of cartoon figures, however, are much more popular amongst children.


Riddle: Riddles have been existing in China for more than 3,000 years; yet, it was from the North Song Dynasty (960-1127) that riddles became associated with the Lantern Festival.


Yuanxiao, or Tangyuan (Glutinous rice balls): Obviously, it gets the name from the festival itself.  With especial connection to the Lantern Festival, this traditional food is a kind of balls made of glutinous rice flour, sometimes with sweet or salty fillings.  Sweet fillings include sugar, nuts, seeds, flower petals, preserved fruits or peel, bean paste, jujube paste, etc; a single ingredient or any combination can serve as the filling.  Salty fillings contain minced meat, vegetables or a mixture.  Alternatively people simply make plain glutinous rice balls, and serve them in sweet or salty soup as desired.  Due to its round shape, yuanxiao represents family reunion, as 'round' and 'reunion' share the same Chinese character 'yuan'.  Here you may watch the video to see how to make yuanxiao.