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Traditional Activities on Chinese Lantern Festival - Beijing Travel Guide

As widely known, the Spring Festival is the most important festival in China and it lasts until the Lantern Festival – on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. What do you know about the Lantern Festival in China? Are you interested in how Chinese people celebrate this traditional festival? Let me show you:

Sweet Dumplings for Lantern Festival

First of all, on the day of Lantern Festival, all Chinese people eat sweet dumplings. Sweet dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour packet into round shape. Usually people filling them with sugar, rose, sesame, bean soup, walnuts, nuts, jujube, etc. The cooking methods are also different according to different customs, such as boiled, fried and steam. And no matter which way you cook, or which flavor you prefer, eating sweet dumplings mean the good luck in New Year.

The next, during the period of Lantern Festival, Chinese people usually hold the traditional activities such as Chinese lantern riddles, enjoy the festive lanterns and the take part in the excellent dragon dance.

Lantern Riddles

Lantern riddles is a unique civic form of ethnic style in China and this traditional activity began to spread since the ancient times. During the Lantern Festival, on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, each household hang the lanterns, setting off fireworks. Later, there was someone wrote the riddles on slips of paper, paste in the bright lights of the lanterns for people to guess. Since the riddles could enlighten wisdom and cater to the festive atmosphere, so the large number of people took part in the activity and response, and then this gradually became the indispensable program of the Lantern Festival.

Enjoy the lanterns is another traditional activity for the festival. This custom began from the Han Dynasty and lasts for thousand years until now. Lantern festival unprecedented developed in Tang Dynasty. At that time, the capital city Chang'an has a population of one million and it reached the world's largest urban affluent society. Under the personal initiative of the emperor, lantern festival became more and more luxurious. In the middle period of the Tang Dynasty, it has developed into a universal carnival. Nowadays, in the evening of the Lantern Festival, you will find bright lanterns shining along every street in China. And there usually hold large scale of lantern exhibitions in the big park for citizens to enjoy the unique shaped and colorful lanterns.

Various Forms, Traditions & Activities during Spring Festival

Although the Spring Festival is the traditional festival of the whole people in China, it has various forms, traditions and activities in different place of China. In fact, almost all characteristic places have their own traditions about this most important festival in China, but the most obvious differences reflect in the southern and northern of China, just separated by the Yangtze River. Usually, the customs are same generally, just the realizable forms are different.

Couplets of Spring Festival

Pasting spring couplets and pictures is the must-do thing to express the wishes of the whole family in new year, is a special and unique literary form in China. The northern people will past the spring couplets and pictures in the early morning of the day of the New Year's Eve, and the sooner the better. But in southern of China, people do this thing before the New Year's Eve dinner. Refer to the New Year's Eve dinner, it is the formal meal for the whole family, and is called as the family reunion dinner. Northern people put this formal meal in lunch and blasting before lunch, and eat dumplings in dinner, maybe that's why they past couplets in morning, and southern people regard the dinner as the formal meal and eat glue pudding in 00:00am, at same time they blasting.

Happy Chinese New Year

The lunar New Year's Day is the start of the Spring Festival. In this morning, people all wear the new clothes to visit the relatives to wishes to each other. The younger will give new year's greetings to the old and get the money which named as Yasuiqian to protect the safety of younger. In northern, people will get up early to blasting and eating the dumplings as the breakfast, and then they will worship ancestors with a large family. Back to home, they will start to visit the relatives before lunch. In southern, people get up to eat the glue puddings and then start to visit relatives. In addition, the same custom of southern and northern is it is forbidden to clean house in that day, or will clean the luck or money.

In fact, if you have experienced the Spring Festival in different places, you will enjoy the complex customs in China, they are the fruit and heritage of Chinese traditional culture.

History of Chinese Spring Festival - Beijing Travel Guide

Chunjie, also known as Spring Festival, is a traditional festival in China, and it is the most important and solemn festival for Chinese people, and is also the oldest festival with long history of 4,000years. From the 23th of the twelfth month of the lunar year to the 15th Day of the first month of the next lunar year, it is the complete time of the Spring Festival, usually the night of the last day in last year and the first day of the next year in lunar calendar are the high tides of this festival. The night of the last day of the last year is called as Chuxi Night, also known as the Chinese New Year's Eve, is similar with the Christmas Eve in western of the world. The first day of the next year in lunar calendar, also known as the Zhengyue Chuyi, is the time to Bainian (visit relatives each other). During the time of Chunjie, people in different places of China all kinds of activities to celebrate it, and these activities have strong national characteristics.

Happy Chinese New Year

In ancient China, Chunjie referred to the spring equinox, symbolized the start of the spring, is also the start of a new year, and then it was changed to the first day of the first month in lunar calendar. People all think the Spring Festival is over not until the 15th Day of the first month in lunar year. With long history of this festival, people now still inherits various traditional customs from old generations. Even the day of the lunar New Year's Day is regarded as the Spring Festival, people start to prepared to welcome the Spring Festival earlier. In order to have a happy festival, people start to clean house, bathing shampoo, ancestor worship and prepare the foods and tools will used in Spring Festival. All these activities have a common theme which symbolizes to clean the dirt and the old of the past year and usher the new year and spring.

Nowadays, except the habit of ancestor worship is not very important, the other main customs are inherited completely. Spring Festival is the important carrier of Chinese excellent cultural traditions, reflects the intelligence and fruit of Chinese deep culture. During so many years, Spring Festival has shaped its culture which attracts amount of foreigners to experience and enjoy it in China.

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