Celebration of Lantern Festival
The major parts of the celebration on Lantern Festival include: display of
colorful lanterns, dragon dance and enjoying Yuan Xiao.
Lanterns are usually multi-coloured and have various shapes
and sizes. Some are made to look like butterflies, others are shaped like rabbits, dragonflies, birds, fruit, or the animal sign of the year. The most popular kind of lantern is the "horse-racing" lanterns in which shapes of figures or animals revolve in the centre of the lantern. There are also
crossword-puzzle lanterns and lanterns with riddles.
A special feature of this holiday is the dragon dance. It is a most colorful event of hundred foot long dragons, lit with flashing eyes and bodies, pounding drums, cymbals, and brass instruments.
Like most Chinese festivals, Lantern Festival has its own special food called
"Yuan Xiao" of "Tang Yuan). These dumplings, which are made of sticky rice
flour, are round, symbolizing both the first full moon of the lunar new year
and the complete family union so cherished by traditional Chinese.
They can be with our without filling and served as a sweet snack, or made plain and then cooked in a soup with vegetables, meat and dried shrimp. Many people still believe that they do not gain their one year in age until they eat their yuan Xiao.