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The Chinese Lantern Festival 2008

Hey Hey and a Big G´Day toya One would believe that this being the end of the Spring Festival would mark the end of the billion bangs and booms that fill the air each day and night during the several weeks of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Yes, one would think so wouldn´t they! Well from my experience all it actually does is remind everyone of their remaining fireworks along with the fact that soon the Fireworks Stores will either be empty or closed. So really it only enhances the fact that everyone should or MUST be the last ones remaining with fireworks to annoy the complete shit out of everyone around them who have pretty much had enough by now. But carry on they will and carry on they do! On this day, the last day of the Chinese New Year Celebrations each town or city will hold a huge fireworks display in their Peoples Square. I was of course told that it would begin at 8:30pm, this was just as correct as the fact that my passport would only be a few weeks along with the fact that the new term begins on the 18th February so I begin teaching on the 19th February. No, the new term actually begins on the 25th February and I hope to be compensated for me beginning one week earlier than I should begin! GGGGRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! Anyhow, after a huge huge huge ride I met Luo Wei at Yu Jin´s parents Vietnamese Rice eatery where we had been invited to have their Lantern Festival Family Dinner with them. When I arrived I found I had only thirty minutes to eat, race home and shower and head back again. Of course it didn´t begin at 8:30pm. Why would it begin at the time I was told? That´s almost impossible here in China. Thirty minutes later Luo Wei and I caught a Cyclo-cab to the Peoples Square and actually made the beginning of it all. We found Yu Wen Jin and Yan and Crew and for the next two and a half hours watch in awe as the night sky were set a blaze with beautiful colours. After the last of the sonic booms ceased we all headed to our latest favourite bar which is actually directly across from Ting Tings Bar. Why Daniel, Alexa and I never set foot in there I have no idea. We all seem to find it rather comfortable. The tables are much bigger and there is only half the amount of noise, along with the fact that most drinks are much cheaper. Add to that the fact they have silly competitions where you can win bottles of alcohol. Add to that that a few nights before Yu Wen Jin won a large bottle of whisky, a bottle of red wine and nine bottles of beer and a few trays of fruit. That´s pretty much an awesome reason to return! Anyhow as I´ve said above, today marked the end of the Chinese NewYear! A time when things should quiet down, become cheaper and become normal again! Well, as normal as things can actually be here in this strange yet wonderful country that has become like! For those interested in the history of the Lantern Festival continue reading below.

PS: the photos to this entry were taken durning 'another Spring Festival Dinner' with Yan, Yu Jin, Yu Wen Jin, Luo Wei and crew. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ____________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was the awesome Spermbirds The album was an album every family home should have `Something To Prove&acute; ************************************************************ ****** 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 favourite 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 colours 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 more and 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 multicoloured 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

Another Spring Festival Dinner

Another Spring Festival Dinner


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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