Chinese New Year Lantern Festival

Chinese Lanterns -

Chinese New Year Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival ( ) is called the Shang Yuan Festival or Yuan Xiao Jie. Chinese Lantern Festival is the first full moon night of the lunar year; it traditionally points to the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. After the Chinese New Year, it is also the first traditional festival. People will light up red lanterns (red color symbolizes good fortune), lantern riddles, eat Yuanxiao, enjoy time with family or loved ones, and guess lantern riddles. Lion dance and dragon dance are an essential part of the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival.

What is the Lantern Festival Chinese New Year?

The Lantern Festival, or Spring Festival is also called Yuanxiao Festival, are a holiday in China and other Asian countries that honors dead ancestors on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar. In addition, the Lantern Festival aims to promote family reunion, peace, and forgiveness.

When is the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival?

The Lantern Festival is also known as the Shangyuan Festival. Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Lantern Festival History

Celebrations of the Lantern Festival began during Han Dynasty (202 BCE-220 CE) about 2,000 years ago. Most Chinese festivals hold ancient stories behind them, and the Lantern Festival has a story too. There are several myths behind this annual tradition, but the most famous stories are the story of a young girl working in the palace of the Chinese king and Jade emperor and fairy.

Yuanxiao worked as a maid. Despite her good-natured lifestyle, she lost her family and desired to stay home during the Chinese New Year. As a cover-up, she told the king that God of Fire came and told her that he planned to burn the city. Then she suggested that they show the city as if it was already burning so that the God of Fire would not bother them. King gets threatened and sets the whole court and the city on fire to mimic a great fire with light firecrackers and colorful lanterns. The palace was so busy preparing that Yuanxiao was able to hide at home. These days, during this holiday Yuanxiao, is the name of dumplings people eat. This holiday is celebrated by enjoying colorful lantern displays and eating sweet glutinous rice balls called tangyuan.

Here's another story of a fairy crane lost on the earth and killed by a hunter who did not know the bird's true nature. In the agricultural era, it was common for villagers to kill wild animals to protect humans and their property. Emperor Jade, the ruler of heaven and the crane’s owner, found it an evil deed and decided to punish this man's world by setting it on fire, but the daughter of the emperor felt sympathy and informed the villagers of this problem. So, from the 14th-16th of the first lunar month, the villagers set off fireworks and lit lanterns. Seeing it from afar, the emperor Jade thought that the village was already burning and the village had been saved. Since that this tradition has been established.

To read more about the Chinese Lantern story, click here.

Chinese New Year Lantern Festival 2017

Chinese New Year was celebrated on January 28, 2017. The Year started on January 28 and last on February 15, 2018. People usually begin celebrations one day before the New Year and continue until the 15th day, also celebrated as the Lantern Festival.

Chinese New Year Lantern Festival 2018

The Chinese New Year Lantern Festival 2018 was announced to launch February 22-26, 2018, in celebration of the Year of the Dog. Darling Harbour Lantern Festival has become a signature Chinese community event in Sydney in the fourth year, attracting approximately 150,000 visitors annually.

Places to Celebrate Chinese New Year Lantern Festival at Los Angeles

  • Chinese New Year Festival in Alhambra
  • Chinese New Year Celebration at Citadel Outlets
  • Chinese New Year at Santa Monica Place
  • Chinese New Year at Universal Studios
  • At Golden Dragon Parade
  • At Pasadena's Pacific Asia Museum

Chinese New Year Lantern Festival London

London Lantern Festivals takes place across the West End, from Shaftsbury Avenue to Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square hosts the main stage performances, and more stages can be found on Charing Cross Road and Shaftsbury Avenue. Chinatown has live activities and food treats. Leicester Square offers family-friendly entertainment.

Chinese New Year Lantern Festival Sydney

Sydney celebrates the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival with pop-up markets, street parades, lion dances, dragon boat races, lantern displays, art installations, and lots of delicious food.

Taiwan Chinese New Year Lantern Festival

Here are few Taiwan Chinese New Year Lantern Festivals:

  • Pingtung
  • Taipei
  • New TaipeiPingxi
  • Taoyuan
  • Hsinchu
  • Miaoli
  • Tainan Yanshui
  • Tainan Yue Jin

To read more about how the Chinese celebrate New Year, click here.

Dates of Lantern Festival

Each month in the Chinese lunar calendar begins on new moon day, and the full moon falls on the 15th day of the lunar month.  The first full moon night of the Lunar New Year is Lantern Festival.  Here are the dates of the recent Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival in the Gregorian calendar.


Chinese New Year

Lantern Festival


February 12th

February 26th


February 1st

February 15th


January 22nd

February 5th


February 10th

February 24th


January 29th

February 12th


Chinese New Year Wishes: Chinese Spring and Lantern Festival Celebration 

To prepare and celebrate the Chinese Spring and Lantern Festival Celebration, this is a beautiful book, and it covers the story in detail behind this Chinese Celebration. You will enjoy reading the interesting facts at the end of this book.