Living Lanterns (2) – Lantern & Mid-Autumn Festivals
Apart from the Chinese New Year, there are two other major Chinese Festivals that are synonymous to lanterns – the Lantern Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Today we’ll look into the differences between the two and delight in some images from these festivals.
Lantern Festival Traditions
When is it celebrated? 15th day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The Lantern Festival is the last day of Chinese New Year festival.
- Appreciating lanterns on display
- Guessing riddles written on lanterns. People must guess the answer from a word, a poem or a phrase, guessing the riddles are as hard as fighting with a tiger, that’s why lantern riddles have another name –‘lantern tigers’.Info Source
- Matchmaking. Historically, the Lantern Festival was one of the rare nights of the year when there was no curfew for young women. Matchmakers roam the streets, attempting to pair up single men and women who are out all night. One superstition even recounts women pulling up vegetables from the gardens of strangers, perhaps in a bid to ensure fertility.Info Source
- eating of dim sum called “yuanxiao” (glutinous rice balls) or commonly called “tangyuan”.
Mid-Autumn Festival Traditions
When is it celebrated?
The Chinese celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month, when the moon is at its fullest.
- Eating mooncakes.
- Matchmaking. In some parts of China, dances are held for young men and women to find partners. One by one, young women are encouraged to throw their handkerchiefs to the crowd. The young man who catches and returns the handkerchief has a chance of romance.
- Carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns.
- Burning incense in reverence to deities including Chang’e
- Fire Dragon Dances.
- Moon rabbit is a traditional icon
Lanterns for Sale, Marine Parade, Singapore
Floating Swan Lanterns, Chinese Gardens, Singapore
Fire Dragon Dance, Image Source
Moon Cake,official mid-Autumn festival food
Bedok Area, Singapore
Dancing Dragons Lantern, Chinese Gardens Singapore