Monday, February 25, 2013

Chinese Lantern Festival

Yesterday, featuring the Lantern Festival, was the official end of the Chinese New Year holiday.  During the Lantern Festival, traditionally children go out at night to the temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns.  Locally here, we often see them lighting lanterns and letting them fly up into the night sky. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year.

As always, they had some traditional dances and activities.  Last year everything was cancelled due to the severe cold weather, so this year everyone was quite excited to join the festivities.  It was held in a different location than previous years and, though had several activities, was a bit disappointing compared to previous years where they had many different activities such as the Lion Dance, Jugglers of various types, people doing ancient crafts, etc---none of which was present for this years' activities.  But, we do hope that you enjoy a couple of these videos of what Chinese culture was presented this year :)

Must not forget these traditional items!

On this day, it is also traditional to eat glutinous rice balls named Yuanxiao after the festival. The first month of the lunar calendar is called the yuan month and in olden times night was called xiao in Mandarin, thus Yuanxiao

They come in various flavors.  We chose chocolate, sweet sesame paste, and something else we can't even translate :)  Anyway, the girls all seemed to enjoy their nice glutinous rice balls--even Camilla who was trying them for the very first time!

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