Dear Steemit Friends:
The Spring Festival marking a new Lunar Calendar year lasts for 15 days. At the end of the 15 days as the spring festival draws to a close, the lantern festival celebrates the end of this festive period and officially starts the new year. Today, I'm taking my Steemit friends to celebrate the end of the Spring Festival with a visit to the very joyous lantern festival held here in Xi'an.
The Lantern Festival originated from the Han Dynasty, to this day, it has a history of around 2000 years. On this day, it is customary for each household to go out at night and admire the full moon, but aside from watching one of natures most beautiful objects in the sky, the lantern festival is also about enjoying the wonderful lantern displays, and guessing the little riddles on the lanterns. This lantern festival can be called the Chinese Carnival.
In Chinese, the lantern festival is actually called 'Yuan Xiao'. But since the lantern festival is the final event of the Spring Festival, it is now more commonly known as the lantern festival. Originally, lanterns were lit in the Han Dynasty as a form of respect to Buddha, but it is also a way to receive good blessings for the future.
Even though the temperature was -5 degrees C tonight, it wasn't enough to deter everyone from visiting the Lantern festival carnival on this special day.
The Tang Paradise in Xi'an is where the Lantern Festival Carnival is held. Here, they use sound, light, electricity and other high-tech contraptions to create these wonderful lantern displays infusing folk customs, traditional Chinese customs and elements of the Spring Festival together in one incredible light show. Now lets take a walk into the Tang Paradise and soak up this very cultural display of art. This particular Lantern Festival Carnival is known as the most beautiful one throughout all of China.
By the entrance gate, there was this super huge display which caught my attention. It's actually of a bottle of alcohol that is distinguished in this area of Shaanxi. It's called 'Xi Feng Jiu'.
This is a picture of one of these Xi Feng Jiu bottles I took in a restaurant before. Doesn't it look similar?
I managed to get a good snap of it's entirety from far away.
These glass sculptures are of Tang Dynasty maidens. Really beautiful!
At the grand entrance, there is a dragon and a phoenix welcoming us. These are actually the biggest light displays on water in the world. Each are 70 meters long, 30 meters across and 18 meters high. Together, the dragon and phoenix make for a stunning and magnificent welcoming display. In front, we can see the Tang Paradise Characters on a giant seal.
The other side of the seal is yet another Dragon.
In China, the dragon and phoenix are both symbols of auspiciousness.
Because I there are so many lanterns, i've grouped some of the photos together. Hope you like them!
Forest concert series, very colourful and very pretty.
These are of people doing some work in preparation for celebrating a festival. Cooking food, washing etc.
These lanterns have Chinese traditional landscape paintings on them.
As well as the infamous Shanbei paper cuttings.
Lotus flower lanterns.
Behind me is the corridoor of the 24 solar terms. As you walk through it, you will see how the 24 solar terms change throughout the seasons.
The 24 solar term lanterns have Xibei and Hu County art on the surface. It's quite representative of the regions skill in arts and crafts
The lake of Tang Paradise shows the splendid reflections from all the light displays as well as the main Tang Paradise building.
The crane lanterns receive visitors to the lantern festival by giving them good luck.
The good fortune gates are very traditionally designed.
The lotus gates use their similar sound in Chinese to 'together' to represent unity.
A tiger stepping on the magical floating cloud.
In the background, some nursery rhymes are played ：“灯笼会，灯笼会，灯笼灭了长一岁！” - "Lantern Festival, Lantern Festival, When the lanterns go out, I grow a year!".
Big chickens mean more auspisciousness. Since this year is the year of the Chicken, the main theme of the lantern festival is of course the Chicken.
This display is of a phoenix fluttering by a waterfall. In front is the full moon. This is probably my favourite display of them all. The colours are so garish and beautiful and yet the atmosphere is so peaceful and tranquil.
This is the folk snack display.
This is lantern display of the 'Tang Yuan' which is usually eaten during the lantern festival.
Very red 'candied fruits' bingtanghulu.
This is a stall which makes custom lanterns for you.
This display is of a recent star of the Olympic games. The famed woman Chinese swimmer, Fu Yuanhui. She became an internet sensation because of her funny expressions when being interviewed and her 'mystic powers' phrase which became a viral internet meme. Here, they've made a display of her famous expression. Do you remember my drawing of her in my meme post?
An unflattering scene of the famous Tang Dynasty Concubine, Yang Guifei drunk on the table.
Emperor Ming of Tang and his cohorts.
A very big 'Fortune' (福)
Playing the traditional Chinese instrument called the Chinese Shawn. It's comparable to the Oboe.
On the trees are little lantern versions of Persimmons.
The Ansai Waist drums being performed for this special festival.
These are little cartoon lantern sculptures made in the style of Beijing Opera. Very cute!
The lanterns in the water make you feel like you've entered a fantasy world. You feel like you're part of the scene, and the scene is a part of a painting.
Lastly we have a scene of Chang'e flying to the moon. It's a very romantic setting. I hope you enjoyed today's very long blog on the lantern festival carnival. Many people know about the Chinese new year, but few know that the Lantern festival marks the end of the Spring Festival. Now you can see how much Chinese people care bringing the Spring Festival to a magnificent close.
Finally, wishing everyone a happy Lantern festival, here are some Mahjong Tang Yuan glutinous rice balls for luck and auspiciousness!