Yuanxiao Festival is on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month. It is part of and the last day of the Spring Festival. In the old days, people began preparing for the Spring Festival about 20 days before. However, the Yuanxiao Festival marks the end of the New Year celebrations. And after the Yuanxiao Festival, everything returns to normal. Welcome to China, HRC is pleasure to provide Guangzhou hotels booking and China tour guide for you.
Yuanxiao, also called tangyuan, is a dumpling ball made of sticky rice flour stuffed with different fillings. Eating yuanxiao has become an essential part of the festival. The methods for making Yuanxiao differ by region and fillings include sugar, rose petals, sesame, sweetened bean paste, and jujube paste. Some do not have fillings. Because tangyuan can be boiled, fried or steamed, and each has a unique taste, it is very popular. Yuanxiao is round in shape so it is endowed with the meaning of reunion, harmony and happiness. During the night of the festival, family members sit together to taste yuanxiao and appreciate the full moon.
The biggest attraction on Lantern Festival is the sea of lanterns in every conceivable size and shape. Chinese started to celebrate the Lantern Festival since the Han Dynasty (206BC-221AD), and then it became popular during the Tang and Song dynasties. This is a festival for people to have fun. On the night, people go to streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon, watching Lion or Dragon Dance, playing Chinese riddles and games, enjoying the typical food called Yuan Xiao and setting off firecrackers. There is really a lot of fun for the young and the old.
Of course, for Lantern Festival, the displaying of lanterns is a major event at night. In the moonlight, lanterns with various colors, shapes, and sizes are hung in the streets. People walk at a leisurely pace, and appreciate the creativity of diverse lanterns. Children carry self-made or bought paper lanterns, and have fun with their family. “Guessing lantern riddles” is an essential part for lantern watching. The puzzles or riddles were written on a piece of paper and posted on the lanterns. If one can solve that puzzles, a little gift would be given.
Yuanxiao Festival is on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month. It is part of and the last day of the Spring Festival. In the old days, people began preparing for the Spring Festival about 20 days before. However, the Yuanxiao Festival marks the end of the New Year celebrations. And after the Yuanxiao Festival, everything returns to normal.
Tangyuan, a traditional food for Lantern Festival, is eaten together with family. Its name has a similar pronunciation as the word for “reunion” in Chinese. In Northern China, it is also called “Yue Xiao”, which derives from the festival. The food is made from glutinous rice flour with stuffing in round shape. The difference between Tangyuan and Yuanxiao is the way they are made. People in north China make yuanxiao by rolling a hard stuffing in glutinous rice flour. In south China, tangyuan is prepared by placing the filling inside rice flour wrapping, similar to the making of jiaozi. The round shape of the balls and the bowls where they are served, come to symbolise the family togetherness.
Lantern Festival was originated at Han Dynasty, with the Buddhism flourishing in China by then. The Emperor then ordered to light lanterns in palace and temples to show his respect to Buddha at 15th of the first lunar month. This practice was expanded to other parts of China along the years. As the time goes by, more and more activities are added on the Lantern Festival. In cities there are lanterns ceremonies in which all patterns of lanterns are exhibited, and in the countryside there are activities like setting off fireworks and walking on stilts. In some places there also develops some other activities such as playing the cloth lions, rowing boats on land, doing the yangge dance. Playing the swings and playing taiping drums.This is a festival for people having fun. On the night of the festival, people go on streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon, watching lions or dragon dancing, playing Chinese riddles and games, and lighting up firecrackers. There is really a lot of fun for the young and the old.
The game of guessing lantern riddles if also a must on the Lantern Festival. Lantern riddles are a peculiar game of the Chinese characters. The answer of a idle is hidden behind a beautiful poem or some common sayings which are written on the paper sticker on the festival lanterns, and the visitors of the lanterns should try to find out it. It is similar to the “crosswords”. The game of guessing lantern riddles first appears in the Song Dynasty. In the capital Lin’an (now Hangzhou) of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), there would be a lot of people sitting and guessing lantern riddles on every occasion of Lantern Festival. Since riddles can give people both knowledge and happiness, they are thus welcomed by all classes of the society spreading.