Lantern Festival, also known as Shangyuan Festival, xiaozhengyue, Yuanxi or Lantern Festival, is the 15th day of the first lunar month every year, which is one of the traditional Chinese festivals. The first month is the first month of the lunar calendar. The ancients called “night” as “night”. The 15th day of the first month is the first full night of the year. Therefore, the 15th day of the first month is called “Lantern Festival”. According to the Taoist “three yuan”, the 15th day of the first month is also called “Shangyuan Festival”. Since ancient times, Lantern Festival has been dominated by the warm and festive custom of watching lanterns.
The formation of the custom of Lantern Festival has a long process. According to the general information and folklore, the 15th day of the first month has been paid attention to in the Western Han Dynasty. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty worshipped “Taiyi” in Ganquan Palace on the first month, which was regarded as the forerunner of worshiping God on the 15th day of the first month. However, the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month is really a folk festival after the Han and Wei dynasties. The custom of burning lamps on the 15th day of the first month is related to the spread of Buddhism to the East. During the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism flourished, and officials and common people “lit lanterns for Buddha” on the 15th day of the first month, so Buddhist lights were all over the people. Since the Tang Dynasty, Lantern Festival has become a legal thing, and gradually become a folk custom.
Lantern Festival is one of the traditional festivals in China, Chinese culture circle and overseas Chinese. The lantern festival mainly includes a series of traditional folk activities such as enjoying lanterns, eating Tangyuan, guessing riddles and setting off fireworks. In addition, many local Lantern Festival also added traditional folk performances such as dragon lantern, lion, stilts, roller boat, yangko dance and Pinggu. In June 2008, the Lantern Festival was selected into the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage.
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