History of Chinese Lantern Festival


    Expats joined locals celebrating Lantern Festival in Wuxi


    Chinese Lantern Festival in Wuxi


    Huishan Ancient Town


The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called ‘yuan-month’ and in the ancient times people called night ‘Xiao’. The 15th day is the first night in the New Year for the full moon to appear, therefore the day is also called Yuan Xiao Festival in China.

According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when scythe sky is lit by full moon, thousands of colorful lanterns are hung out for people to appreciate. This is when people solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.

  • There are many different beliefs regarding the origin of the Lantern Festival.

    But one thing for sure is that it had something to do with religious worship.

    One legend tells us that it was a time to worship Taiyi, the God of Heaven in ancient times.

    The belief was that the God of Heaven controlled the destiny of the human world.

    He had sixteen dragons at his disposal and he decided when to inflict drought, storms, famine or pestilence upon the human beings.

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  • The Lantern Festival, also called Shangyuan Festival, is held on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar.

    According to folk customs, during that evening, every household eats Tangyuan (glutinous rice balls) for dinner and hangs lanterns on the house.

    Therefore, that night is also called "Lantern's Eve".

    In ancient times, lanterns made in Wuxi were very delicate.

    Hudai was also famous for their fine lanterns.

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