The Lantern Festival (元宵节 yuán xiāo jié) is the festival that closes the cycle of Chinese New Year holidays. For this reason it is also called “Little New Year” (小年 xiǎo nián).
Chinese lanterns (孔明灯 kǒng míng dēng) are used in China as a sign of good luck. People also used to write on traditional paper candles (花灯 huā dēng) riddles to solve. If you find the word hidden by the riddles you win a gift.
It’s traditional eating yuán xiāo soups (元宵 yuán xiāo), the symbolic dessert of the festival: they are filled rice dumplings — mostly eaten as dessert — boiled in water; their rounded shape symbolizes fullness, the reunited family and the satisfaction of needs.
Written by Jessica Li