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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

China Marks End of New Year Festivities with Lantern Festival

BEIJING – China celebrated the Lantern Festival on Thursday with parades and feasts despite it being a working day, marking the end of two-week long New Year celebrations, and welcoming the first full moon of the Year of the Dog.

In southern provinces such as Zhejiang, Jiangxi or Anhui, the festival – mainly celebrated at night to coincide with the moon – is marked by dragon, fish or lion lantern dances.

In the Zhaikou town – a beautiful traditional village of the Zhejiang province –, streets and doors were decorated with lanterns shaped like fish, an animal that is considered auspicious by the Chinese.

Cities close to Beijing – such as the 2022 Winter Olympic host city Zhangjiakou – celebrated by spraying molten iron in the air to create a “rain of fire,” attracting many tourists.

In Beijing, however, celebrations were muted owing to an official ban on firecrackers and fireworks, aimed at reducing pollution and risk of fires.

China celebrates the end of the two-week Spring Festival with different rituals, although some customs are common throughout China, such as looking at the moon while eating Yuanxiao, a sweet rice-ball, which resembles the moon in its shape and color.

The festival is more than 2,000 years old and falls on different days every year as according to the lunar calendar.

 

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