Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chinese New Year - The Lantern Festival

You can find all our posts on Chinese New Year HERE

The Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities. It takes place on the 15th day, the day of the full moon which, this year, means it occurs this Sunday, February 24.

Photo Credit: Flickr member conan06
Lanterns abound, from traditional red lanterns, to simple designs in shapes of animals, flowers, and birds, to elaborate lanterns depicting various aspects of Chinese folklore. The streets are lit by hundreds of lanterns that have been made especially for this festival. Performers of all sorts, such as acrobats, jugglers, stiltwalkers, walk the streets.

Photo Credit: Flickr member conan06
Solving riddles is a popular custom during the festival. Written riddles on paper are attached to lanterns, and those attempting to solve them pull the paper to see if they are correct.

Photo Credit: Flickr member conan06
The legend behind the Lantern Festival tells of an angry Jade Emperor, unhappy with a certain city. He had decreed that it should be punished, burned down by the Fire Goddess. The city was saved by the wise man Donfang Shuo, who won the goddess' favor by offering her sweet rice balls, her favorite treat. He then had everyone in the city light lanterns and set off fireworks to fool the Jade Emperor into believing the city was on fire.

For the lantern festival, we made lanterns (here, here and here), riddles, and glutinous rice balls in preparation for the festival.


  1. Marie, This series is a wonderful resource and I am going to share it (link to your site) in the Learn More section in my Lantern Festival post. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Amanda! I'm adding your printable riddles to my riddle post :)


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