Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Lantern Festival! Closing out Chinese New Year Celebrations with a Lantern!

Today is the fifteenth day of the lunar new year and it is the Chinese Lantern Festival.

The Lantern Festival marks the end of the fifteen days of Chinese New Year celebration. Families eat sweet or salty sticky rice balls known as “tang yuan” or “yuan xiao” on this day. As the night arrives children carry paper lanterns with battery-operated lights to join the annual lantern festival celebrations, which are typically held at parks and monuments throughout the island of Taiwan. The design of the lanterns change each year according to the rotation of the twelve Chinese birth signs.

2012, for example, is the year of the dragon – the most popular of all birth signs. This year dragon-shaped, paper lanterns were given away for free to the residents and visitors of Taipei. The Taipei Lantern Festival 2012 is at Taipei City Hall and the nearby Sun Yat Sun Memorial Park area. These little lanterns and the beautiful, giant lanterns on display at these festival celebrations make for a wonderful field trip for the kids.

What's More?
There is one more tradition on the Lantern Festival that is the Lantern Riddle Game. It is a game for both adults and children. The traditional Chinese Lantern Festival riddles can be quite challenging. Some of the them are based on history and some of them are based on the Chinese characters. The riddles are attached to the lanterns and the person who can solve a riddle can win a prize.

Sky Lantern Festival. See the lanterns flying to the sky!

Have a wonderful year of the Dragon! = Lóng nián wàn shì rú yì = 龍年萬事如意

Learning More About Chinese New Year:
The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac -HapaMama
Chinese New Year Traditions and the Year of the Dragon -Jeanette's Healthy Living
Celebrating Chinese New Year in Taipei, Taiwan -Travels With Baby
The Symbolism Behind Chinese New Year Foods Bicultural Mama
Gong Xi! The Excitement of the Chinese New Year! -Making Multicultural Music


  1. The paper dragon lanterns sound cute! I have the tiger and the rabbit paper lanterns given out in Taiwan. We save them and bring them out each year ;)

    1. Thank you, Grace! The link is added to the post. We have the same lanterns as well. I am looking forward to the dragon one to come soon.