Traditional Customs of the Lantern Festival

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Lantern Festival, also known as Yuanxiao Festival, is a time-honored celebration deeply rooted in Chinese culture. As one of the most significant events on the lunar calendar, this festival is marked by a myriad of traditional customs that have been passed down through generations. Join us as we delve into the rich tapestry of customs that make the Lantern Festival a cherished and vibrant occasion.

Lantern Displays (灯笼展示 - dēnglóng zhǎnshì)

Perhaps the most iconic symbol of the Lantern Festival is the dazzling display of lanterns. Intricately crafted 制作的 (zhì zuò de) in various shapes, sizes, and colors, these lanterns adorn streets, parks, and homes, illuminating the night sky with their enchanting glow. From traditional red lanterns symbolizing good fortune to elaborate artistic designs depicting scenes from folklore and mythology, lantern displays are a feast for the eyes and a centerpiece of the festival.

制作的 (zhì zuò de), adj, crafted


  1. The beautifully crafted lanterns illuminated the night sky.
    Jīngměi zhìzuò de dēnglóng zhàoliàng le yèkōng.
  2. She admired the intricately crafted pottery on display.
    Tā xīnshǎng le zhǎnshì de jīngqiǎo zhìzuò de táoqì.

Eating Tangyuan (吃汤圆 - chī tāngyuán)

Tangyuan, or sweet rice balls, are a must-have delicacy during the Lantern Festival. These glutinous rice balls are typically filled with sweet fillings such as sesame paste, red bean paste, or sweetened dried fruit and served in warm, fragrant broth. Eating tangyuan with family and friends symbolizes unity 团结 (tuán jié) and harmony, making it an essential part of the festival's customs.

团结 (tuán jié), noun, unity


  1. The unity among classmates made the group project a success.
    Tóngxuémen de tuánjié shǐde xiǎozǔ xiàngmù qǔdéle chénggōng.
  2. Our family is very united.
    Wǒmen yī jiā hěn tuánjié.

Guessing Lantern Riddles (猜灯谜 - cāi dēngmí)

Another beloved tradition of the Lantern Festival is the guessing of lantern riddles. Lanterns with riddles written on them are hung in public spaces, and visitors are invited to solve the puzzles. These riddles, often containing witty wordplay and cultural references, add an element of fun and challenge to the festivities, bringing people together in friendly competition and intellectual stimulation.

Key Sentences:

  1. Let's go solve some lantern riddles at the Lantern Festival tonight!
    Jīn wǎn ràng wǒmen qù yuánxiāojié cāi yīxiē dēngmí ba!
  2. Wow, look at the beautiful dragon dance at the Lantern Festival!
    Wā, kànkan yuánxiāojié shàng piàoliang de wǔ lóng biǎoyǎn!
  3. I am looking forward to the delicious food of the Lantern Festival!
    Wǒ fēicháng qídài yuánxiāojié de měishí!

What customs and activities associated with the Lantern Festival do you still know?

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