MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL LONDON

25/11/2016-02/01/2017
EXPLORE THE SILK ROAD

Festival Heritage

Chinese Lantern Festivals span a rich 2000-year heritage.

As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival of great significance. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns. During the Tang Dynasty (618 AD), the tradition grew, lanterns were not only put up everywhere in the palace and along the streets, but were also used to build big festival lantern wheels, buildings and even trees.

In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have developed greatly and have become works of art embellished with many complex designs. Lanterns symbolize people letting go of their past selves and entering new ones, which they will let go of the following year. The lanterns were almost always red to symbolize good fortune.

Cool Timeline

1616
January 1

Inheritance(AD)

In the Qing Dynasty, the Lantern Festival had become a large scale grand celebration event with impressive fireworks as an additional delight till today.
0960
January 1

Continuation(AD)

  Continuation In Song Dynasty (960 AD), the Lantern Festival was given even more attention. The celebration became more lively. The design and style of lanterns have also become more diverse.
0618
January 1

Thrive(AD)

Thrive During Tang Dynasty, when the capital city Chang’an had become the biggest and richest city in the world with over a million population. With the participation of the emperor, the lantern festival had become increasingly glamorous and developed into a grand national event.
0202
January 1

Origin (BC)

The tradition of lighting up lanterns on “Yuan Xiao” started in the Han Dynasty (202 BC) and became very popular during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD), where lanterns were not only put up everywhere in the palace and along the streets, but were also used to build big festival lantern..Read More
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