Lantern Day is Here !

Today is the last day of Chinese New Year. Many Asian cultures are celebrating world wide.This is also a day for lovers.

Here is another legend of the origins of this much loved holiday.

There once was a maid named Yuan Xiao, who was a maid in the emperor’s palace during the Han Dynasty. One day a man heard her crying as she was about to jump to her death. She was depressed because she never got the chance to see her family so she wanted to die. The man promised to help her see her family again.

To do so, he set up a fortune-telling booth in town and everyone who went seeking their fortune was given the same fortune: a fire would occur on January 15. He said the God of Fire would send a fairy dressed in red to burn down the town. The fairy would be riding a black horse. Then, Yuan Xiao pretended to be the fairy. She came to town Jan. 13 with a decree to give to the emperor informing him the city would be burned down.

The emperor didn’t know what to do, so he asked the man for advice. He told the emperor that the God of Fire liked to eat tangyuan (湯圓). Tangyuan are sweet, round dumpling made with glutinous rice flour and filled with sweet sesame, peanut, or red bean paste. The man said everyone in town should make tangyuan to worship the God of Fire and also hang red lanterns and light firecrackers. Then, everyone should walk outside to see the decorations.

The emperor followed the instructions. Yuan Xiao’s parents were among the people who came to the emperor’s palace to admire the decorations. While there, they were reunited with Yuan Xiao and the emperor declared the day a success and turned it into an annual holiday. Since Yuan Xiao cooked the best tasting tangyuan, the festival became known as Yuan Xiao.

blue moon

Today is also a Full Moon!. Emotions maybe running high, so just relax and light some candles in the evening. Because it is a Full Moon, you may want to write a list of things you want to release from your life on Joss Paper, and then burn it in a safe place. This allows that energy to be released, so you can start anew.

Joss Paper from Asian Market

Joss Paper from Asian Market

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