Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival
Originally uploaded by TingChang

This photo was taken on the 2008 Lantern Festival, Tainan County, Taiwan. Also, it's my first shot recommended by the flickrers in some "high level" groups. Reading those comments and encouragement from other photographers is one thing you will get addict to it!!

Lantern Festival is one of the many traditions of Chinese culture. The day is on every lunar January 15th, and it is also the last day of the "New Year celebration." (through 12/31 to 1/15)

There's a tradition that people will hang some lanterns outside of the house. Kids are told and taught to make some lanterns and bring one to the street.

When I was a child, I remember my parents took my sister and me to the celebration fete every year. There would be many food stands, street vendors and some performances in the evening.

"Shooting" the lantern riddles is the most interesting traditional activity. Every riddle has been written on the lantern hanging on a wire. The host will take it down one by one and let the crowd guess the answer.

The riddles are usually designed in Taiwanese. Without good understanding of the language and and the culture, it's hard for people to get the points.

Nowadays, this kind of fete are rarely seen and replaced by big lantern festivals. (lantern works display, fireworks shows) The main festival (national level) will be held by a county or city government.

However, people in other places still have some smaller (in scale) festivals to visit.

2008 Taiwan Lantern Festival

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