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Beijing Lantern Festival Tour

Planning to visit Beijing and China during the Chinese New Year Festival? Then try best to make your Beijing tour extend to the Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao jie).

In order to enrich the New Year activities of people and foreign tourists in Beijing, Beijing will always hold lots of grand cultural activities, temple fair and Lantern Festival during the China New Year festival period.

Chinese Lantern Festival 2011

Chinese Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar.

It is the night of the first full moon night after Chinese New Year and marks the end of the two week long New Year holiday period.

2010 Chinese Lantern Festival

Customs of the Lantern Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival 2011

1. Eating Yuanxiao

The most popular food for this festival is yuanxiao, also called tangyuan in some places. They are a kind of stuffed dumpling made of glutinous rice flour served in soup. Sugar, sesame seeds, bean paste, walnut kernels and jujube powder might be used as yuanxiao fillings.

Yuanxiao is also a symbol of staying together, because roundness has the connotation of wholeness and togetherness in Chinese culture.

Chinese Lantern Festival 2011

2. Lanterns Everywhere

The biggest attraction on Lantern Festival is the sea of lanterns in every conceivable size and shape.

On the night, people go to streets with a variety of lanterns under the full moon, watching Lion or Dragon Dance, playing Chinese riddles and games, and setting off firecrackers.

Chinese Lantern Festival 2011

Places to Hang out during Lantern Festival in Beijing

1. Qianmen Shang Yuan Lantern Party, Beijing

Highlight: Lion dancing performances

The Lantern festival party in Qianmen is held to restore and expand the original Shang Yuan Lantern Party which used to be held in Beijing’s central Qianmen area in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Featuring an exhibition of elegant handmade lanterns by craftsmen from across the nation, the party will provide a festive gathering where visitors can appreciate the art of traditional lanterns with modern technology while enjoying riddles and fun games. Free of Charge!

How to get there:
Many bus routes would take you there but the most convenient way is to take the subway line 2 and get off at Qianmen station.

Chinese Lantern Festival 2011

2. Lanterns Everywhere

In the past during the Lantern Festival each year, traditional lantern fairs were held in places like Changdian where people played with various beautiful lambs and lantern riddles.

Now many other locations such as the Cultural Palace of Working People, Yuanmingyuan, or Winter Palace, and Zizhuyuan or Garden of Purple Bamboo also offer lamps show. Apart from the old flowery lanterns, many new modern colorful lights are introduced. Another kind of lamp show is the ice lamp displays that often take place in Longqingxia and the Beihai Park.

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