Changzhi Lantern Festival at Night
The Modern Lantern Festival
While the Lantern Festival has changed very little over the last two millennium, technological advances have made the celebration more and more complex and visually stimulating. Indeed, the festival as celebrated in some places (such as Taipei, Taiwan) can put even the most garish American Christmas decorations to shame. They often sport unique displays of light that leave the viewer in awe.
Master craftsman will construct multicolored paper lanterns in the likeness of butterflies, dragons, birds, dragonflies, and many other animals; these accentuate the more common, red, spherical lanterns. Brilliantly-lit floats and mechanically driven light displays draw the attention of the young and old alike. Sometimes, entire streets are blocked off, with lanterns mounted above and to the sides, creating a hallway of lamps. Some cities in North China even make lanterns from blocks of ice! And just as in days gone by, the billion-watt background sets the scene for dragon and lion dances, parades, and other festivities.
Changzhi blocked off a street for the lit floats and vendors so the people came from all over town to the see the lights and floats.
The lanterns at night
There were so many people that many of our float pictures turned out this way. If you look closely you can see the top of my hood in the back.
I loved seeing all the small children wearing headbands.
Don’t know what this one means.
We purchased some pineapple from a street vendor. It cost 1RMB (15cents) per slice.
The pineapple street vendor
After the fresh fruit we then had to try some candy coated fruit. It was delicious.
A tough decision.
This has been my favorite holiday in China as it was very festive and everyone was so friendly and just ready to celebrate.