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Chinese Lantern Festivals – Traditional and Modern

  • by admin
  • 2 min read

The Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival is one of the most important Chinese lantern festivals in the Asian World – from China, and Japan to San Francisco and Toronto. There are several festivals in the Chinese calendar that are celebrated with the lighting of lanterns, but the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Winter Solstice, and Chinese New Year are the three biggest Chinese lantern festivals of the year. This year the Mid-Autumn Festival, falls on September 12’th, the same day as the Harvest Moon. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival, because it is celebrating the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox.

A traditional Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated by lighting red Chinese lanterns, eating moon cakes, and visiting family members.

Go to a Chinese bakery any day and
treat yourself to some Moon Cakes.
They’re not just for the Moon Festival!

Over the years, the festival has become more like a huge New Year’s Eve party or carnival. The red lanterns
of the past are still there, but now, in addition, there are amazing
high tech light shows and sculptures of cartoon-like characters like the
ones below:

Lanterns at the Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, Sichuan, China Photo: China Hourly

Celebrating modern Chinese Lantern Festivals.
Nagasaki, Japan.
Photo: Kan Kan on

Making traditional lanterns by hand for Chinese lantern festivals isn’t seen that often any more. The traditional displays, however, can be seen everywhere, often alongside high tech displays.

Chinese lantern festivals the traditional way.
Photo: tfkt12 on

Dramatic traditional display.
Photo: chee.hong on

Another one of the Chinese Lantern Festivals simply known as the Lantern Festival. This occurs on the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations. Floating, fire-powered,  red Chinese lanterns may be seen on this holiday. At Luna Bazaar, we love lanterns, and encourage people to buy them, but lighting a fire under one is a practice we do not condone!

Traditional or modern, have fun celebrating the Moon Festival next week, or just enjoy the beautiful Harvest Moon.

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