The Lantern Festival in China is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the lunar calendarmarking the last day of the lunar New Year celebration. It is also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival; Chap Goh Meh Festival in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; Yuen Siu Festival in Hong Kong, Tết Thượng Nguyên or Tết Nguyên Tiêu inVietnam; and, Koshōgatsu in Japan. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns (simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; pinyin: cāidēngmí).
It officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.
It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival; which is sometimes also known as the "Lantern Festival" in locations such asSingapore and Malaysia.
In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in the shape of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year.
Tangyuan '湯圓' is a glutinous rice ball, first made 800 years ago, and eaten on the fifteenth day of the lunar New Year. The Chinese people believe the round shape of the balls, and the bowls in which they are served symbolize family togetherness, and that eating tangyuan may bring the family happiness and good luck in the new year.
And the good news is, we do have Yuanxiao in Handu BBQ today, come and enjoy.