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Home > News > Social News > China’s Lantern Festival


China’s Lantern Festival

  • Author:Dora
  • Release on:2017-02-13
This Saturday is the Lantern Festival, or Yuan Xiao Festival. Celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, it marks the last day of festivities surrounding the Chinese New Year.

In Chinese, one of the meaning of yuan is "first," while xiao means "night," thus Yuan Xiao is celebrated on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year. 

In 2008, the festival was recognized as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage by the State Council, China's cabinet.

Festival treats

Tangyuan and yuanxiao are balls of glutinous rice flour often made with different fillings eaten during the Lantern Festival.Tangyuan and yuanxiao are very similar to each other, the major difference being that tangyuan fillings tend to be softer and watery, while yuanxiao fillings tend to be more solid. Tangyuan are more often eaten in the southern parts of China, while northern Chinese tend to prefer yuanxiao.

The yuan (round, circle) in tangyuan refers to the shape of the balls, but in Chinese a circle also represents the idea of completeness, so when it comes to this holiday it also represents a family coming together. 

Fillings are often sweet ingredients such as sugar, jujube paste, red bean paste, or peanut butter. People in some regions also use meat and vegetables for their fillings.

Nowadays, these snacks have grown past their festival-only roots to become a full season dessert.

Contact: Dora Lee
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