Chinese Paper Lantern Tradition
In feudal China a school master in a private school used to light portable lanterns for his students on the first day of a school year, for the word 'lantern' shares the same pronunciation of word 'success' of imperial examination. Lantern also symbolizes new generation for their similar pronunciation, so a red rice paper lantern, in token of multiplication, would accompany a bride to her bridal chamber. For the same reason hanging name lanterns embellished the landscape of almost every Chinese town.
The most poetic part of lantern is Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar. On the evening of the festival all kind of lanterns are hung out. Jointed by mammoth parades, opera performances, fireworks and dancing teams, the festival bustles with noise and excitement and is celebrated late into the night. Lantern riddles, a game of guessing a riddle written on lanterns, add the appeal to the event. Lantern Festival became official holiday in the 5th century, and hanging lantern was mandatory from the 10th century. In 1403 a magnificent lantern fair was set up in Beijing, and its location has been named thus since.Back to paper lantern
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