Chinese people celebrate Lantern Festival with joy, hope-Xinhua

Chinese people celebrate Lantern Festival with joy, hope

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-24 20:24:15

People attend a "Wulong Xuhua" show to celebrate the Lantern Festival in Taijiang County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 23, 2024.  (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- A seven-day temple fair opened in south China's city of Guangzhou on Saturday, celebrating the Lantern Festival and presenting visitors with traditional dances, lion dances and delicious food.

"I've been recording the fair with my phone because it's so lively," said Chen Yonghao, a tourist from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Chen visited the fair with his wife and child. "The traditional culture here is well-preserved, and the cultural performances are distinctive," he said. "I'm really happy to spend the festival, which symbolizes reunion, with so many other visitors."

The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. People usually hang colorful lanterns, play riddle games and express their wishes and hopes for the future.

In Guangzhou's Yuexiu District, lanterns and illuminations adorn Yuexiu Park, creating a festive mood. Next to a 100-meter-long illumination in the shape of a loong -- or Chinese dragon -- tourist Shen Xiaoran was recording the scene on her phone.

"For Chinese people, the loong symbolizes good weather for the crops and happiness. I hope that everything goes well and I'll be able to navigate my workplace with ease this year," said Shen.

In the city of Zhangye, northwest China's Gansu Province, a centuries-old traditional cultural event was held on Friday night to mark the Lantern Festival. The tradition, called the Jiuqu Yellow River Lantern Array, is an intangible cultural heritage for Gansu Province.

Wearing a high hat and a robe, 53-year-old Jiao Wenjie, an inheritor of this cultural tradition, walked slowly onto the stage to the accompaniment of music.

As Jiao and other performers intoned prayers for a blessed new year, the winding array of golden lights was switched on, forming the shape of a large square maze. Gongs and drums were beaten, and the flock of tourists was allowed to file into the lantern maze and guess the riddles prepared beforehand.

The Jiuqu Yellow River Lantern Array consists of 365 lanterns arranged according to the Nine Palaces and the Eight Trigrams Formation, which was used for divination in ancient China. In the past, people believed that walking around the lantern array would bring them a good harvest and a better life in the coming year.

Niu Zhenhao, a tourist from north China's Shanxi Province, made a special trip this year to see the lanterns. "This lantern array contains very rich cultural elements, which is quite amazing," said Niu.

In the Chinese capital of Beijing, various experience activities were held in the Fragrant Hills Park. Tourists played riddle games and learned information about the Lantern Festival through scanning the QR codes hung on the lanterns.

To create a festive atmosphere, more than 400 cultural activities, such as temple fairs and lantern fairs, were scheduled to take place in Beijing during the festival.  


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