Google Doodle celebrates Lantern Festival 2021, the annual Taiwanese celebration that falls on the first full moon of the Lunar New Year, on February 26.
What is Lantern Festival?
The Lantern Festival (元宵節; 元宵节) or the Spring Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese lunar calendar. It is one of the Taiwan country’s most treasured events.
The Taiwan Lantern Festival (臺灣燈會) is an annual event hosted by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taiwan to celebrate the Lantern Festival.
There are numerous activities all over Taiwan during Taiwan Lantern Festival. During the Taiwan Lantern Festival, a large number of sky lanterns light over Pingxi District (平溪) in Taiwan.
In Yanshuei District, the firecrackers ceremony of the Wumiao Temple is likewise one of the significant activities. The famously risky Tainan Yanshuei Fireworks Display otherwise called the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival, (“beehive of fireworks”) was initially celebrated to avoid evil and disease from the town.
The Taipei Pingxi Sky Lanterns were released initially to tell others that the town was protected. These lanterns are decorated with wishes and pictures identifying with the proprietor. These two events are referred to together as “Fireworks in the South, Sky Lanterns in the North.”
Beginning from 1990, the Tourism Bureau incorporated regular citizen and local government resources to direct the occasion to celebrate the Lantern Festival (the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar) and the finish of the Lunar New Year. The reason for the celebration is to spread the traditional old stories. It is otherwise called the Yuan Xiao Festival.
Taiwanese individuals compose their wishes on the lanterns with a belief to bring an abundant crop. Women wish for a new child to procure more hands to work. These lanterns fly to the sky, carry their desires to the Gods, and on the other hand talk all dreams of them that being honored with luck and good things.
The theme of the fundamental lanterns frequently relates to the zodiac signs of Chinese astrology. Every one of them is more than ten meters tall. Since 1999, each main lantern has its own theme music which is around 3 minutes long and plays the rhythm when making exhibitions during Taiwan Lantern Festival.
The celebration goes about as an Uposatha day on the Chinese calendar. It ought not to be mistaken for the Mid-Autumn Festival; which is sometimes called the “Lantern Festival” in locations like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Lantern Festivals have likewise become well known in Western nations, for example, the Water Lantern Festival held in numerous locations in the United States. In London, the Magical Lantern Festival is held every year.
In Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia, it is usually known by its Hokkien name: “Chap Goh Meh” (十五冥) signifying “15th night”. In the Philippines, it is additionally referred to in Hokkien as “Siōng-guân” (上元) normally by Chinese Filipino families who may celebrate it.
In Japan, the Lantern Festival is regularly known as koshōgatsu (小正月 (こしょうがつ)). In Korea, the festival is known by a few names, including “정월대만월”, “정월대보름”, “상원”, “원소”, “원석” and “오기일”. In Vietnam, the festival is known by a few names, for example, in “Rằm Tháng Giêng”, “Tết Nguyên Tiêu” or “Têt Thượng Nguyên”.
Lion dance (舞獅), walk on stilts (踩高蹺), riddle games (猜燈謎), dragon dance (耍龍燈) are exceptionally popular during the lantern festival.
Across Taiwan, Lantern Festival celebrations incorporate a huge number of glowing paper lights, each recorded with wishes for the year to come. As indicated by the legend, mountain farmers in old Taiwan released float lanterns into the sky as an approach to reassure their relatives that they were safe and sound.
These days, the lanterns released into the sky across Taiwan are painted including pandas to cats, and each has its own importance, like incredible fortune or luck in a relationship.
Made official in 1990 by the Taiwanese government, the Lantern Festival started as a plan to honor the local legends that are woven into the country’s history.
The first iteration of the festival was just held in Taipei, yet it has since grown in popularity and is presently celebrated with illuminating art installations across the island country—and around the world!