Customs at Lantern Festival in Taizhou

(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Children hang lanterns to pray for a happy new year. [Photo/taizhou.com.cn]

The Lantern Festival is mainly about hanging and viewing lanterns. Lanterns are usually hung from the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the first lunar month. They might be hung for five, two or three days. The fourteenth day is the climax. All people, rich or poor, set up racks along streets to hang lanterns on. There are lift type (such as hang-lanterns) and pedestal type (such as lanterns shaped like the huge legendary turtle). Lanterns are in various shapes. There are lanterns in a lotus shape, those with Chinese characters meaning "fortune" and "longevity", those shaped like fruit or animals, or those with myths and stories such as Chang Er Flies to the Moon, Liuhai Makes Fun of The Toad and The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea. In Yuhuan, a fishing village, people hang lanterns of animals, fowls and fish, and perform beside them. Their unique performances are always popular. Fireworks and lantern tours are prevalent in Linhai. At this time, people also use drums, construct pavilions, walk on stilts, do dragon and lion dances, and enjoy other folk entertainment and performances.

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