The Lantern Festival is essentially the last day of Chinese New Year festivities and is the 15th day of the new lunar year, which is today! Traditionally, on this day, people release beautiful red paper lanterns inscribed with riddles into the night sky to represent releasing their old selves and beginning new ones. Another name for this festival is Yuanxiao (元宵) Festival. The first character means “round”, and on this day, you are supposed to eat something round, preferably spherical, to bring good luck and closeness in a family. Unfortunately, I’m not in a place where it is acceptable to just release a floating, glowing lantern into the night sky, but I am about to go out and get myself some of my favorite Firecakes Donuts and donut holes! But before I do, I wanted to share my photos of Chicago Chinatown’s Chinese New Year Parade last weekend!
- Eat something round today. The Chinese usually make and eat tangyuan, which are delicious glutinous rice balls (often filled with red bean or black sesame paste), but you could always improvise!
- For some reason, if you are in Auckland, New Zealand, today, I hear there is a huge Lantern Festival there where they welcome the New Year by glittering the night sky with unique lanterns!