MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL LONDON
EXPLORE THE SILK ROAD
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.