Lantern Festival is on Lunar January 15th and it’s an important event in Chinese new year in Taiwan. On this day, there are some traditions you must try.
Eating Yuanxiao(吃元宵, Chih Yuanˊ Xiao)
Yuanxiao is the special food for Lantern Festival. You can know it by the name of the festival(元宵節, Yuanˊ Xiao Jieˊ). It is believed that Yuanxiao is named after a palace maid of the Han Dynasty. Yuanxiao is a kind of sweet dumpling, which is made with sticky rice flour filled with sweet stuffing. It tastes might like the pearl of pearl milk tea but is more gummy. There are many kinds of stuffing in yuanxiao, such as sesame, red beans, matcha, etc. You can get them from supermarkets, tradition markets or you can make your own yuanxiao. It’s an easy work to cook them. Only need to put them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes and add some sugar into boiling water if you want.
Watching Traditional Performance (看傳統表演, Kanˋ chuanˊ tungˇ Biauˇ Yanˇ)
There are different performances in most of temples in the daytime of the Festival. Dragon and lion dance(舞龍舞獅, Wuˇ Lungˊ Wuˇ Shih) is a well known performance. People believe that the dance can get rid of the monster Nien, and bad luck. They also believe it can bring good luck for the next year. At night, fireworks will be displayed in everywhere. They will form a beautiful scene which makes people exciting.
Visiting the Lantern Festival(逛燈會, Guangˋ Deng Hueiˋ)
Governments will hold different lantern festivals in each city. The theme of the lanterns will be associated with the Chinese zodiac and the main lantern festival will be held in different city each year. There are lots of lanterns in festival and all of them are amazing! You can visit them in any city in Taiwan. The exhibition area will be seething with tourists but if you are lucky, you can get a lantern from the information center.
Guessing Lantern Riddles (猜燈謎, Tsai Deng Miˊ)
Guessing riddles is the most interesting part of the festival. This activity originated in the Song Dynasty. In the past, lantern owners would write riddles on a piece of paper and post them on the lanterns. If visitors knew the answers, they could pull the paper out and go to the lantern owners to confirm the answers. If they were right, they would get a little gift. Nowadays, governments will set a part of riddle guessing in the Festival area. Some places will hold a game of it. The host will collect the riddles and tourists come and answer. Riddle guessing is popular among all Taiwan.
There are variety of interesting things you can do in Lantern Festival in Taiwan. Next time you can try all of them if you come to Taiwan during the Chinese New Year. I can bet that it will be an unforgettable memory!
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