Why do you want to watch the lanterns during the Lantern Festival? | Splendid China Year


Lantern Festival is the main traditional festival in China, also known as Yuanxi and Yuanye, also known as Shangyuan Festival, because it is the first full moon night in the New Year. The origin of Shangyuan Festival, recorded in Miscellanies at the Age of Years, said that Taoism called the 15th day of the first month of the year Shangyuan Festival, the 15th day of July as Zhongyuan Festival, and the 15th day of October as Xiayuan Festival, which were collectively called "Sanyuan".

According to legend, the 15th day of the first month is the birthday of Lei Zu, the silkworm god, so this day has become a day for people to sacrifice to the silkworm god. Silkworm worshippers use rice congee and meat fat as offerings, and at the same time, they use a bamboo pole to carry a candle and stick it in the field, which is called "according to the silkworm in the field" (it is said that observing the color of the lamp can judge the abundance and sorrow of a year). This activity has gradually become a source of the Lantern Festival custom for future generations.

Because this festival has the custom of watching lanterns in past dynasties, it is also called the Lantern Festival. During the Lantern Festival, it is the opportunity for young men and women to meet their lovers, so the Lantern Festival has become the "Valentine’s Day" in China.

Eating Yuanxiao on the fifteenth day of the first month, as a food, has a long history in China. In the Song Dynasty, a novel food for the Lantern Festival was popular among the people. This kind of food was first called "Floating Yuanzi" and later called "Yuanxiao", and businessmen also called it "Yuanbao". Yuanxiao, or "Tangyuan", is filled with white sugar, roses, sesame seeds, red bean paste, yellow cinnamon, walnut kernels, nuts and jujube paste, and wrapped in glutinous rice flour into a round shape, which can be both meat and vegetarian and has different flavors. It can be boiled in soup, fried and steamed, which means a happy reunion.