In Asian communities all around the world, elaborately decorated paper lanterns or silk lanterns are used in celebrations to honor Buddha and ancestral spirits.During the 1st century in China, it was believed that celestial spirits could be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the new lunar year.
The night of the first full moon marks the start of the Chinese Lunar year. Over time, the torch-lit search for spirits on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year evolved into the Lantern Festival, or the Shangyuan Festival. It is said that the origins of the Festival of Lanterns can be traced back as early as the Han Dynasty.
The Lantern Festival is celebrated in Chinese communities around the world. The festivities always feature the ubiquitous Dragon Dragon and Lion Dance to add color and good fortune to the holiday. Brilliant and breathtaking fireworks displays light up the sky to ward off evil spirits. Colorful paper lanterns or silk lanterns of all sizes, designs, and shapes are hung up and lit everywhere not only to illuminate the night but also to recreate the light and warmth of spring.
So Visit your local China town, and pick-up some fun lanterns to celebrate this coming Monday for the full moon. Enjoy your time with friends and family, eat good food, and create some memories this weekend