Lantern Festival

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The 15th day of the first lunar month.  Lantern Festival could be considered the official end of the New Year celebrations, and occurs exactly 2 weeks from New Year’s Day.  But, what is Lantern Festival?

Began as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 25 AD) as a Buddhist celebration. Buddhist monks would watch Sarira, remains from the cremation of Buddha’s body, and light lanterns to worship their leader on this 15th day of the 1st lunar month. One of the Emperor’s of the dynasty appreciated Buddhism, and therefore decided to light lanterns in the imperial palace and temples, to show respect to Buddha on this day. Eventually, this practice expanded into a common Chinese Festival throughout all of China.

Lanterns are hung throughout the streets.  Children will often make their own lanterns and carry them around with excitement.

Guess The Lantern Riddle..(emerged during the Song Dynasty)…lantern owners write riddles on pieces of paper and stick them on their lanterns.  If someone knows the answer, they pull the paper off, and find the lantern owner to check if their answer is correct.  If they are correct, they will get a little gift!