The Lantern Festival(Yuanxiao jie) is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the lunar calendar marking the last day of the lunar New Year celebration. The Lantern Festival is usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival with great significance. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year. The lanterns are almost always red to symbolize good fortune. People also eat yuanxiao or tang yuan(rice ball) in this day. It is a glutinous rice ball typically filled with sweet red bean paste, peanut butter, or sesame paste. It is very delicious. People believe the round shape of the balls, and the bowls in which they are served symbolize family togetherness, and that eating tangyuan may bring the family happiness and good luck in the new year. Continue reading Lantern Festival
In China, it is called Dongzhi. Traditionally, the Winter Solstice is also a time for the family to get together. In the southern parts of China, people making and eating of tangyuan or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion. But in northern China, people typically eat dumplings on Winter Solstice.