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Celebration of Lantern Festival in Beijing

Chinese Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first Full Moon of the Lunar Year. Lantern Festival marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. This year (2014) will be on February 14 (same date with Valentine Day), Chinese people will celebrate together the lantern festival in all country. For Chinese, this is a special day for them to celebrate both festivals in the same time.

Celebration of Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival

The 2014 Lantern Festival will welcome the Chinese zodiac Year of the Horse. This day or rather night will be lit with hundreds of colorful lanterns which will adorn the markets, store fronts, restaurants and hotels and just about anywhere you go. So for you who travel Beijing during that period, you will see beautiful view especially in some temples, malls, or other important sites in Beijing.

Traditionally, Chinese will decorate the light lanterns around the house and children carry the candle paper lantern on the street at night. It might the safety concern, not too many follow this custom today. Instead, many people will attend different activities of the Lantern Festival.

Moreover, fireworks will be up at the last day of Chinese New Year celebration, because after the Lantern Festival, fireworks are not allowed in the city. Traditionally, Beijingers like to set off fireworks and firecrackers on Chinese New Year's eve and the Lantern Festival to celebrate the holiday season.

Other beside lantern decoration that can be seen all over city, Chinese people will also celebrate Lantern Festival by enjoying tangyuan or yuanxiao. Just like China's other traditional holidays, the Lantern Festival also has its own signature dish, called "Yuan Xiao", or sweet dumpling. Although the sweet dumplings vary in name and recipe across the country, they are always coated with glutinous rice flour.

The Sky Lantern

During the night of lantern festival, some people also will fly the sky lantern by writing their wishes on the paper lantern and pray their wishes come true. Release sky lanterns as a form of prayer for good luck and blessing. And they believe that the lantern will fly to heaven, God will receive their message and hear their wishes. While in the day visitors could see some performances such as a dragon lantern dance, a lion dance, etc then in the night people can enjoy fireworks and sky lantern in a bright sky.