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2025 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Wednesday, February 12, 2025

2025 Chinese Yuan-Xiao Che - Lantern Festival of Snake Year

2025 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Wednesday, February 12, 2025. Chinese Lantern Festival is the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year Festival. 2025 is the year of the Green Wood Snake. 2025 Chinese New Year Day is on Wednesday, January 29, 2025 in China time zone. Therefore, the 15th lunar day is the Lantern Festival. The 15th lunar day is close to the full moon day. Chinese Lantern Festival always have a bright night.

Chinese Lantern Festival is Yuan-Xiao Che

In China, the Lantern Festival is called Yuan-Xiao Che. This is because Chinese eat Yuan-Xiao on this day. This custom originated from the Eastern Jin Dynasty in the fourth century, then became popular during the Tang and Song Dynasty.

Yuan-Xiao 元宵 is just like Tang-Yuan 湯園. They are made of sweet rice flour into sticky glutinous balls. They can be filled in with sesame, red-bean or peanut butter paste. Usually, they are severed with sugar water. But some people still make salty Tang-Yuan.

The difference between Yuan-Xiao and Tang-Yuan is the way they are made and cooked. This is because that Chinese in different geographic area prepare the food in different way. Chinese call the one they eat on Winter Solstice Day is Tang-Yuan. The one they eat on the Lantern festival is called Yuan-Xiao. Winter Solstice is Chinese Tang-Yuan Che and the Lantern festival is Chinese Yuan-Xiao Che.

Chinese Lantern Festival - Coming Years

2026 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Tuesday, March 3, 2026. 2026 is the Red Horse year.
2027 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Saturday, February 20, 2027. 2027 is the Red Sheep year.
2028 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Wednesday, February 9, 2028. 2028 is the Brown Monkey year.
2029 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Tuesday, February 27, 2029. 2029 is the Brown Chicken year.
2030 Chinese Lantern Festival is on Sunday, February 17, 2030. 2030 is the White Dog year.

Chinese Lantern Festival - History

The Lantern Festival is a traditional Chinese festival since Han 漢 Dynasty more than 2000 years ago. In the early Tan 唐 Dynasty (618-907AD), it was called the Shan-Yuan 上元 Festival, because of Taoism. in the late Tan Dynasty, it was called the Yuan-Xiao 元宵 Festival. It was called Lantern Night in the Sun 宋 Dynasty (960-1297 A.D.). The Lantern Festival was used in Ching 清 Dynasty (1644-1911 AD).

According to Taoism, Shan-Yuan 上元 (first period of the year) Festival is the birthday of the Heaven Officer who blesses human luck. On the 15th lunar day of 7th lunar month is Chung-Yuan 中元 (middle period of the year) Festival, which is the birthday of the Hell Officer who has right to pardon ghosts. On this day, all the ghosts can leave hell to human world for food. So the 7th lunar month is called Ghost Month. Many Chinese won't get married in this month. The 15th lunar day of 10th lunar month is Xia-Yaun 下元 (last period of the year) Festival. This day is the birthday of the Water Officer who can rescue people in trouble.

On the 15th lunar day of the year, some Chinese families worship the Heaven Officer of Taoism and pray for luck at home or temple during the daytime. Traditionally, the Chinese should decorate the light lanterns around the house and children carry the candle paper lantern on the street at night. It might be a safety concern, not too many follow this custom today. Instead, many people will attend different activities of the Lantern Festival.

The lantern displays can be found in the town center square and temples. Usually. there is a lantern competition at the temple. Traditional lanterns are made of paper. They can make the lantern turning around by the heat circulation from the candle inside. Today the light of the lantern is from the electricity. People like to design lanterns using zodiac animals, historical figures, saints, and gods of Taoism or Buddhism. Certainly, the current year's animal symbol of the Chinese calendar is the most popular subject. Using the computer tool today, they can design the lantern with different movements, the different colors of light, and even using the laser light with special visual and sound effects.

Chinese Lantern Display at Night

In Taiwan, the government builds a giant zodiac animal lantern more than 15 kilometer high on the square of a major city every year to promote the touring business since 1990. Around the major lantern, many lanterns from different grade schools, organizations, and foreign countries will be displayed on different sections for competition. There is the parade and traditional art performance beginning at afternoon till the opening light ceremony at night. The laser show will perform with 5 or 6 subjects after open light ceremony. The fireworks will come in the end. The lantern riddle game is usually sponsored by the temple. People give the correct answer for the riddle will receive a gift. It's always very crowded when the game begins. Food, stores, games, gift shops, and performances are available around the lantern displays for people and tourists. This lantern carnival will be held for more than a week.

You can see the Chinese Lantern Display in USA. Some cities have Chinese Lantern Festival events during Chinese New Year. That's a good family activity for children. But you need to pay for the tickets to watch.

Chinese Lantern Festival - Sky Lantern

The sky lantern probably was invented before Late Han Dynasty. Kung-Ming, a prime minister of Three Kingdoms (220–280), used sky lantern for military liaison purpose around 221 A.D. Some people still call the sky lantern as Kung-Ming lantern.

During the night of the lantern festival, some people in Taiwan will fly the sky lantern by writing their wishes on the paper lantern and pray their wishes to come true. A long time ago, people thought the lantern will fly up to heaven. The god of heaven will receive their messages and will give them a blessing.

There is a story for this custom. Once, a village was attacked by the pirates. When the pirate ship came, people ran to and hide in the mountain. When pirates left, someone in the town flew the sky lantern to tell people in the mountain safe to come home. It happened on the 15th lunar day of that year. Now people do the same way to depict their peace, safety and without an accident. Sky Lantern in Taiwan (Video)

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