Friday, February 26, 2010

The Lantern Festival 元宵节 (yuan xiao jie)

The 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar (正月十五) is a full moon called “元宵节”yuan xiao jie, also known as the “Lantern Festival” because of the old practice of having colourful lantern displays, dating back to the Tang dynasty. Some people would play an old Chinese game “猜灯谜” where riddles or questions pertaining to Chinese words, phrases or historical personalities are pasted on the lanterns. It reveals how knowledgeable you are to solve those riddles & questions. And because the full moon is associated with romance & matrimony, “元宵节”yuan xiao jie also has a special significance for those in love. Some also named “元宵节”yuan xiao jie  to be the “Oriental Valentine’s Day” (东方情人节).

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