Lanterns | The festival
Sky lanterns are often traced back thousands of years to the Eastern Han in China (25–220 C.E.), when the bright, floating objects were used as light sources and to relay necessary military signals across long distances.
Today, however, the ordinary lanterns hold a relatively lighter significance, as they're commonly wont to commemorate cultural and spiritual celebrations across Asia and in various destinations around the world with large populations of Asian descent.
From a floating lantern festival in Hawaii to Vietnam's monthly full-of-the-moon festival, here are six radiant lantern celebrations that happen annually worldwide.
For Us Lantern festival in India is Diwali where we say it is festival of light.
Full Moon Lantern Festival
Hoi An, Vietnam
In the Buddhist tradition, the complete moon is considered a perfect time to meditate, reflect, observe rituals, and honor deceased ancestors.
As a part of this belief, the complete Moon Lantern Festival in Hoi An persists on the 14th day of the calendar month.
At sundown, homes and businesses across the town close up their electricity and permit lantern lights to illuminate the world. Locals and visitors can release lanterns into the river, an act that's thought to bring happiness and health.
Spring Lantern Festival
When: subsequent Spring Lantern Festival falls on February 15, 2022.
The annual Spring Lantern Festival in China is often traced back approximately 2,000 years to when an Eastern Han emperor was said to possess orders that temples, households, and royal palaces lit the lanterns
Today, the festival marks the top of the Chinese New Year and celebrates family, society, and therefore the coming of spring. Although specific customs vary regionally, the prevalent activities involve:
- Lighting lanterns.
- Guessing riddles.
- Eating tangyuan (ball-shaped dumplings).
- Watching traditional lion dance performances.
China's largest Spring Lantern Festival celebration takes place in Nanjing, the capital of the eastern Jiangsu province. Still, events are held in other cosmopolitan cities like Shanghai and Beijing, as in rural regions.
Pingxi Lantern Festival
Pingxi District, Taiwan
When: The 2021 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival has been postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions. (It was initially scheduled to start on February 26, 2021.)
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is held annually in Taiwan's Pingxi District, a mountainous region located approximately one hour east of Taipei.
Marking the primary full-of-the-moon of each Lunar New Year—typically during February or March—lantern releases are held within the rural villages of Jington, Pingxi, and Shifen. (The festival's most significant event takes place in Shifen.)
During the festival, thousands of individuals gather to scribble their wishes on colorful paper lanterns before releasing them into the sky, hoping their prayers will be answered.
The discharge of the lanterns, which also commemorates the official end of Chinese New Year, is considered a logo of embracing an optimistic future.