Lantern Festival and CNY Big Market in Qingdao
Last week the famous Lantern Festival (元宵节) was celebrated all over China. Red lantern lines illuminating the night everywhere– what could be more characteristic of China?Let me talk a bit about one of the most widely known Chinese festival.
The Lantern Festival originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty and was first celebrated about 2000 years ago. It is celebrated on the first full moon night in the Chinese calendar, which is why the date changes every year, and traditionally marks the end of the Spring Festival. After the Lantern Festival people normally stop setting off fireworks. I put “normally” because I still heard fireworks for days afterwards. It’s been, however, relatively calm during the past few days so I assume everything is back to normal now. What is special about the Lantern Festival? Visitors can enjoy various beautiful lanterns, make lanterns fly into the dark night sky, try to solve lantern riddles, eat ball dumplings in soup, join lion or dragon dances and many other things.
Well, that’s exactly what we, the IC intern group, were looking for when we went to Qingdao’s Old Town on Thursday, March 5th. We didn’t really find all of these “interesting things” but we finally managed to find a traditional temple that opened its gates for the event where we took lots of beautiful pictures. You may find a selection of them below.
元宵节快乐, Happy Lantern Festival !
What about 青岛糖球会? This is the Chinese New Year Big Market in Qingdao. It lasts one week and is well-known not only by Chinese people but also by foreigners. If you want to try strange delicacies and aren’t afraid of getting bitten by a crocodile, this is the best place to go to! Meat skewers, squid sticks, scorpions, coconut juice, and – best thing of all – 糖球 (candied hawthorns!). If you are lucky, you will manage to not lose your friends in the streets which are crowded by masses of people. Otherwise you’ll have to find your way through the crowd, passing flower headband sellers and men hitting rice pastry with a big wood hammer.
Don’t be surprised and enjoy. You are in China!
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