The Yuan-Xiao Festival, which is also known as the Lantern Festival or the Sweet Dumpling Festival, arrives this time of year.
China Online.com says, “Chinese started to celebrate the Lantern Festival during the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 221 AD) then it regained popularity during the Tang and Song Dynasties.”
Yuan Xiao (元宵节 or 元宵節) is an ancient Chinese tradition that celebrates a new beginning and a fresh start on life.
This is a festival for people to have fun. On the night, people go to streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon, watching Lion or Dragon Dances, playing Chinese riddles and games, enjoying the typical food called Yuan Xiao (sweet dumplings) and setting off firecrackers.
The sweet dumplings are made of glutinous rice flour and may be stuffed with either a sweet or a salty filling. Sweet fillings may have walnuts, sesame seeds, osmanthus flowers, rose petals, tangerine peel, bean paste or jujube paste.
The salty Yuan Xiao is filled with a minced meat and/or vegetable mixture.
Traditionally, this day marks the end of celebrations of the Lunar New Year.
Lighting paper lanterns is a tradition during this festival, which is why it is also known as the Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival was once a version of another Chinese Valentine’s Day but has been gradually losing its romantic allure while the Western Valentine’s Day is gaining in popularity among younger Chinese.
If you pay attention to Chinese holidays, eating is important. China is an eating culture where family and friends gather to stuff themselves and have an enjoyable time.
Learn more of China’s Eating Culture
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