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The Spring Festival Ends With The Lantern Festival

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to ya

So it's here, the last night of the Chinese Spring Festival.

The day began at 4:30am this morning when the first of the loud BOOMS could be heard. I lay there in hope that it was only a few kids letting off some crackers from their window. I sit here now and it's 9:30pm and believe me, it wasn't just a few kids, infact it was the entire bloody town.

When I've actually stopped to think about it and time it the longest time so far this day between BOOMs was only a little over two minutes and when I say this I am being serious. It hasn't stopped since 4:30am. This being my 4th Spring Festival here in China and this is by far the loudest. I've never experienced anything so loud for so long. Every day and every night it continues and has since I returned on the evening of the 17th.

Tonight though is the loudest of them all.

Tomorrow begins the real new year here in China but I can bet (from experience) that the booms will continue until the 'cracker stores' are either sold out or pack up for another year. From observation whilst walking around town today it seems Shaowus people have barely made a dint in what the 'Cracker Stores' have to offer.

There are a lot of stores with a lot of crackers of all sizes left!

Anyhow, for those who want to read a bit about what the Lantern Festival is and was in the past I've added some information below. I checked our river before and there are no colourful boats nor lanterns. It seems the people of this little city are more than happy with boxes full of huge BOOMERS!

Beers N Noodles to ya...shane

<u>The Lantern Festival</u>

Falling on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year, the Lantern Festival takes place under a full moon, and marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities. The Lantern Festival dates back to shrouded legends of the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago. <u>Legend of the Lantern Festival's Origin</u> </b>

In one such legend, the Jade Emperor in Heaven was so angered at a town for killing his favorite goose, that he decided to destroy it with a storm of fire. However, a good-hearted fairy heard of this act of vengeance, and warned the people of the town to light lanterns throughout the town on the appointed day. The townsfolk did as they were told, and from the Heavens, it looked as if the village was ablaze. Satisfied that his goose had already been avenged, the Jade Emperor decided not to destroy the town. From that day on, people celebrated the anniversary of their deliverance by carried lanterns of different shapes and colors through the streets on the first full moon of the year, providing a spectacular backdrop for lion dances, dragon dances, and fireworks. <u>The Modern Lantern Festival</u> </b> While the Lantern Festival has changed very little over the last two millennia, technological advances have made the celebration moreand more complex and visually stimulating. Indeed, the festival as celebrated in some places (such as Taipei, Taiwan) can put even the most garish American Christmas decorations to shame. They often sport unique displays of light that leave the viewer in awe. Master craftsman will construct multicolored paper lanterns in the likeness of butterflies, dragons, birds, dragonflies, and many other animals; these accentuate the more common, red, spherical lanterns. Brilliantly-lit floats and mechanically driven light displays draw the attention of the young and old alike. Sometimes, entire streets are blocked off, with lanterns mounted above and to the sides, creating a hallway of lamps. Some cities in North China even make lanterns from blocks of ice! And just as in days gone by, the billion-watt background sets the scene for dragon and lion dances, parades, and other festivities. <u>Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan</u></b>

Yuan Xiao and Tang Yuan are balls of glutinous rice, sometimes rolled around a filling of sesame, peanuts, vegetable, or meat. Tang Yuan are often cooked in red-bean or other kinds of soup. The round shape symbolizes wholeness and unity. www.c-c-c.org/chineseculture

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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