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China Lantern Festival(Yuanxiao festival)
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Time: 15th day of the 1st lunar month
Venue: All over China.
Origin: The Lantern Festival has its origin in the Han Dynasty. King Wen of the Western Han Dynasty officially designated the 15th day of the 1st lunar month as Lantern Festival, and during the reign of King Wu of the Han Dynasty, the Chinese began to celebrate this festival with lantern shows. During the Yongping reign of the Eastern Han Dynasty, King Ming, in an effort to promote Buddhism, ordered that lanterns be lit up in palaces and monasteries at night as tribute to the Buddha. Aristocrats and commoners alike were asked to hang lanterns at the front gates of their houses. Hence the name, Lantern Festival. The practice gradually became part of the Chinese folklore and is celebrated in pomp and pageantry. During the Song Dynasty, ¡°yuan xiao¡±, a kind of dumplings made of glutinous rice flour and sweet stuffing, were invented. Such dumplings are boiled in water until they float. They are made exclusively in celebration of the Lantern Festival, which is also called ¡°Yuanxiao Festival¡±.