China and China Towns in many countries including Kolkata's China Town have geared up to celebrate the upcoming Lantern Festival. The Chinese lantern festival will be celebrated on the fifteenth as the last day of the lunar New Year celebration on February 14 this year.
During the festival, family feasts and children’s outdoor and temple visits carrying paper lanterns to read proverbs and solve riddles written or printed on the lanterns and make merry will be organized. In a way, the lantern festival officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.
In Chinese culture, lanterns symbolize that people should let go of their past selves; start afresh and get better. The lanterns used in the festival are often in the shades of red to symbolize good fortune.
In the Chinese city of Chengdu in southwest Sichuan Province of the country, a grand lantern fair is being held. During the Lantern Festival, the fair venue is a virtual ocean of lanterns. Many new designs of lanterns attract large numbers of visitors and celebrants.
These lanterns often contain messages of good fortune; seasonal greetings; good wishes; happy family reunion; wishes for abundant harvest, prosperity and love. Lantern Festival is the first significant feast for yuanxiao - a rice ball stuffed with different fillings on is marked by the bright full moon, and family reunion.
Here are some of the Chinese proverbs that get written on the lanterns at some places.
A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.
A smile will gain you ten more years of life.
A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion.
He who depends on himself will attain the greatest happiness.
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
There are two perfectly good men, one dead, and the other unborn.
Slander cannot destroy an honest man - when the flood recedes the rock is there.