Friday, February 9, 2007
posted by Kate at Friday, February 09, 2007

On the day of the festival, various colorful and ornamental paper lanterns announce the arrival of yet another eventful year. Festival of Lanterns is more popularly known as the Shan Yuan Festival or as Little New Year. There are many interesting legends associated with the evolution of Lantern Festival in China. The Festival of Lanterns dates back to 200 years to the worship of Taiyi deity, the God of heaven during the reign of the Han Dynasty. They all believed that the God of heaven controlled the destiny of human life and had sixteen dragons at His beck and call to inflict all kinds of calamity on the human race. The emperor was thus obliged to keep Taiyi in good humor so as to be blessed with His graciousness. But it was not until 104BC that Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty drew attention to this event which would last all night long. While, another story relates how Buddha’s influence became the source of the Lantern Festival.

The fine-cutting of the paper into different shapes of butterflies, dragons, birds and animals of various kinds display the artistry involved in making these lanterns. The Lantern Festival is not just a means of entertainment but also a rich storehouse of ancient wisdom with historical themes and intriguing riddles. Off-late in a few cities in North China, lanterns are also carved out of blocks of ice. Of the many Lantern Festivals, the largest and the most famous is ‘The Taipei Lantern Festival' held annually at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Plaza. Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province also holds an annual lantern fair in the Cultural Park each year. Amongst the many that is sported, the Dragon-Pole, a lantern in the shape of a golden dragon, spiraling up a 27 meter high pole, spewing fireworks from its mouth, is a crowd-puller. Amongst all the activities, Dragon Dance is considered to be the highlight of the Lantern Festival.

Thus the traditional Festival of Lanterns held on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese calendar provides a shimmering end to 15 days of ceaseless revelry.

Cracker Of A New Year !
Crack up lotsa laughter and smiles for your friends/ family/ loved ones this New Year with this cute ecard.

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Rocketing Fun 4705 !
Bring on the smiles of your friends/ family/ dear ones with this cute and sparkling New Year wish.

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