The Chinese Lantern Festival
We are looking again at China, where next to the moon festival in autumn, an event is celebrated at the beginning of the year, which is also connected to the full moon: the Lantern Festival (»Yuanxiao«). This celebration is traditionally held on the 15th day of the first moon month of the old Chinese calendars and therefore coincides (more or less exactly) with the full moon. The Lantern Festival indicates the end of the Chinese New Year ceremonies.
The heritage of the festival’s origin varies. In any event, the custom reaches far back to the imperial dynasties and reflects the desire of people to jointly celebrate and to lend it expression with special ceremonies in the hope for good luck, health and prosperity. Thereby, the elaborately crafted lanterns play a central role. Riddles are written on them and the ones who solve them are rewarded with presents. Furthermore, »Tangyuan« are eaten (dumplings made of rice flour with a sweet filling) and it is celebrated within the circle of friends and family.
And above the thousands of lantern lights, fireworks and well wishes, the silent full moon remains in the sky. So, whoever would like to make a wish, is in good company.