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Chinese Lantern Festival

Updated: May 17, 2021

Today (26 Feb 2021) is the Chinese Lantern (Yuan Xiao) Festival. Yuan Xiao literally means the “night of the first-month festival” which is also is the last day of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) celebrations.

It is thought that the Lantern Festival started more than 2000 years ago during the Han Dynasty when Buddhist monks would light lanterns on the 15th day of the lunar year in honour of the Buddha.

The Chinese have used lanterns not only as sources of light or decoration, but they symbolize vitality, social status and good luck. On this day, people take to the streets to celebrate. They will light lanterns, solve lantern riddles, eat tangyuan (ball dumplings in soup) and watch lion dances.

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