New year, treasured traditions
On the 15th and final day of the new year celebrations, take part in the Lantern Festival. This is where the start of Spring is celebrated under the first full moon of the Chinese calendar. Historically, this dazzling event was held at temples, but in recent years, it’s been lighting up parks and communal spaces all over China.
Though it’s celebrated everywhere, one of the biggest (and best) events is in Qinhuai’s Confucius Temple. Strings of vibrant lanterns float in the air, shaped like globes, dragons and even goats. Look out for the captivating lion dancers performing in the streets – a tradition dating back to the Three Kingdoms Period.
Fun fact: When red lanterns are paired with streams of fireworks, the lit-up night is said to fend away evil spirits. In turn, this tradition brings good luck to all for the new year.
Be sure to leave room for further feasting once the new year arrives. Rice dumplings are dished out to hungry festivalgoers continuing their celebrations. Another traditional treat to look out for at the Lantern Festival is tngyuán. These small, sweet dumplings are an especially important staple, symbolising wholeness and family togetherness.