The Lantern Festival, also known as Shangyuan Festival, Xiaoyue, Yuanxi or Lantern Festival, is one of the traditional Chinese festivals. It falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
The fifteenth day of the first lunar month is the first full moon of the year, so the fifteenth day is called the “Lantern Festival”.
According to the Taoist “Sanyuan”, the 15th day of the first lunar month is also called “Shangyuan Festival”.
Since ancient times, the custom of Lantern Festival is based on the warm and festive custom of watching lanterns.
The formation of the Lantern Festival has a long process, rooted in the folk light praying ancient customs.
According to common sources and folklore, the fifteenth day of the first lunar month was already taken seriously in the Western Han Dynasty, but the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month really became a national folk festival after the Han and Wei dynasties.
The rise of the 15th day of the first month lighting custom is also related to Buddhism eastward, the Tang Dynasty when Buddhism Daxing, officials and people generally in the 15th day of the first month of the “lighting for Buddha”, Buddhist lights then spread throughout the people, from the Tang Dynasty, Lantern Festival lanterns that become a legal matter.
Lantern Festival is one of the traditional festivals in China, in the Chinese character culture circle and overseas Chinese.
The Lantern Festival features a series of traditional activities such as watching lanterns, eating glutinous rice
balls, guessing lantern riddles and setting off fireworks.
In addition, many local Lantern Festival also added a dragon lantern, lion dance, walking on stilts, rowing a land boat, yangge dance, playing the drums and other traditional folk performances.
In June 2008, the Lantern Festival was selected into the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage.