Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lantern Festival

Back to China! I've got lots of blog posts I'd like to share about China, so now that I've (finally) finished chronicling my trip, it's back to China! This post is very old - the festival happened on February 28.


On the last day of the Chinese New Year Festival, Chinese people celebrate Lantern Festival. I got really lucky, because I was in Quanzhou for the Festival, and Quanzhou is famous for its celebrations. Everyone buys beautiful, intricate paper lanterns to put out. Some rich individuals and businesses spend a lot of money to have professional lanterns made.

In downtown Quanzhou, one of the main temples is decked out with lanterns and opened to the public for a fee. It was crazy how many people were there! It was the sort of situation that could have easily turned dangerous had anything gone awry. As we stood waiting to get into the temple, the crowd was pressed person to person. There was no moving on your own, and if you fell, getting up would be a serious undertaking. Nothing happened, of course, and after waiting in the packed crowd, we got into the temple and were treated to a beautiful display.

There is a pond in the middle of the temple grounds that was particularly beautiful.

I can't even imagine how these were put together, as I'm fairly sure most/all of them were made by hand.

The other part of the lantern festival, besides looking at the beautiful lanterns, is setting off a (usually much plainer) version yourself. First, you light a piece of fuel that is attached to a the bottom of the lantern.

Once the air inside the lantern has heated up enough, away it goes!

No comments: