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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 References: Chinese Lantern Festival The Chinese Lantern Festival occurs on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calander. History - It can be traced back to 2,000 years ago. In the beginning of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Emperor Hanmingdi was a Buddhist. He heard that monks lit lanterns in the temples to show respect on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Therefore, He ordered that all places light lanterns on that evening. -Others say that the Lantern Festival comes from Torch Festival, which was when people in l areas held torches to scare away beasts and insects to reduce insect damages and pray for a good harvest. Lantern Festival became very popular during the Sui, Tang and Song dynasties about 1,000 years ago. Historical records say that hundreds of thousands of singers and dancers participated in the celebration which lasted from morning till dawn. Customs and Activities -When the festival comes, red lanterns can be seen everywhere. In the parks, lanterns of many shapes and types attract lots of visitors. Visitors marvel that lanterns demonstrate traditional Chinese folklore. Watching Lanterns -Beginning from the Song Dynasty, guessingriddles has become a must-have event of theLantern Festival. People write down different riddles on pieces of paper, and put them on to lanterns to let visitors guess them. If someone can answer a riddle, the take the piece of paper off of the lantern and have the organizers check the answer. Gifts are given to the people who get the right answers. Guessing Riddles -Derived from the Three Kingdoms Period of China, the lion dance is an excellent traditional art. Two performing types have formed during its long development. According to ancient custom, the lionis a symbol of boldness and strength that can protect people, so by performing the lion dance, everyone prays for an auspicious and happy life. -Walking on stilts, another folk art, goes back to to the Spring and Autumn period. Performers not only walk on stilts by binding them to their feet, but also do some breathtakingly difficult moves. Folk Dances -Eating Yuanxiao or Tangyuan is a great tradition for the lantern festival. Yuanxiao , is made of glutinous rice flour, and different fillings are stuffed inside, either sweet or salty, such as white sugar, brown sugar, sesame, walnuts, driedosmanthus flowers, rose petals, sweetened tangerine peel, bean paste, and jujube paste, or any combination of two or three ingredients. Yuanxiao can be either boiled, fried, or steamed. Eating Yuanxiao
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