Lantern Festival

lanternfestivalWhat’s more fun than celebrating the New Year? No, this is not about the Gregorian Calendar New Year, that’s so been-there-done-that. This is about celebrating the end of the 15-day celebration of the Lunar New Year, called the Lantern Festival or the Yuanxiao Festival. It is celebrated the night of the first full moon of the Lunar New Year, to welcome the spring season.

And how did we T-birds get to do that? Thanks to the China Club and the Taiwan Club, this Saturday, February 23 at the Fish, we were able to experience this unique festival, eat traditional festive food, play fun games and win exciting prizes!

Of course, the main attraction at the Lantern Festival were the lanterns. Many lanterns are made to reflect historical Chinese themes, and depict scenes from stories and legends that express traditional values. Those who attended the event made their own lanterns from colorful paper and string. The Clubs showcased movies that helped us learn even more about the festival, and of course, there was a contest that followed the movies with prizes to be won!

And how could we not mention the fortune-prediction activity? You had to shake out one single stick from a container that decided your fortune. Many were seen trying desperately to better their fortunes, having received predictions of medium or very inferior fortunes. Great fortune comes to those who play the game well! 😉

Great food you ask? The Lantern Festival is celebrated by eating Tang Yuan. Tang Yuan are round balls of sticky rice flour with a variety of fillings from sweet to savory. It is an important practice to eat Tang Yuan during the Lantern Festival because it symbolizes family reunion and unity that are essential values of the celebration, and also because its shape is the same as that of the full moon.

Here’s wishing everyone a great New Year!

(Picture Courtesy: Huijuan Guo)

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