Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ABC Wednesday: G is for a very Good Lantern Festival

The 15th day of the first month in Chinese calendar is the day for the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival(元宵節). Traditionally, it marks the end of New Year celebration. It is the first night to see the full moon in the New Year and people eat Youanxiao (元宵) (glutinous rice ball).

Every city in China and Taiwan has major lantern exhibition during this time. In Taiwan, different city takes turn to host the major Taiwan Lantern Festival. This year, it is hosted by the southern city of Chiayi, 1 1/2 hour ride on the high speed train from Taipei. Grace and I went for the opening of the festival last Sunday.

This year is the year of Tiger, not surprisingly, the major theme of the festival is the tiger. You can see a movie clip shot by Grace using her Nikon D90 of the Giant tiger lantern in our last blog.

The Giant tiger is accompanied by two other Chinese mystical animals: a Giant Kirin (yes, it is what a famous brand of Japanese beer named after) and a dragon.

Here is the Giant dragon seen from a distance. It changes color every minute.

No Good festival can do without a Good show of fireworks.

There are thousands of lanterns that are hanged all over the festival ground.

Is it the flying dragon from the movie Avatar?

Nanjing is the official city of China that participates in the Taiwan Lantern Festival. It occupies a very large area of ground in the exhibition.

The theme in the Chinese exhibition is very traditional, very Grand and very delicate. After all, they have thousands of years of experience of making lanterns. Here a gentleman just gets the highest mark in the national exam and is parading with a large entourage.

Here two ladies in a house boat that is leisurely floating on the moat of a walled city.

Here it shows two boys standing on the head of a dragon turtle, another Chinese mystical animal. It symbolizes the winner of a game or competition, especially a national exam.

Overall it was a very Good Lantern Festival. We had a very tiring but very Good trip.

To see more entries of ABC Wednesday click here.

19 comments:

Sylvia K said...

How exciting! And how lovely and colorful! Such marvelous captures for the day! A very good lantern festival indeed! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Andy said...

Very nice photos taken at night.

Jama said...

This is very similar to the River Hong Bao we have over here in Singapore, lots of animal lanterns like these.

Roger Owen Green said...

Looks exciting! And the 3rd picture is my favorite.


On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thank you! - Ramblin' with Roger

Jay said...

Good heavens, those lanterns are elaborate! Absolutely incredible!

The last one with the dragon turtle was interesting - I've never heard of one before.

Gordon said...

So colourful; great photos and interesting descriptions.

snapperoni said...

Great photos.

I love all of them, I really do! :O
The lanterns are so wonderfully-made. It's amazing how detailed and colourful they make them!

Paula Scott said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. I would love to witness something like that! Talk about overloading the senses! That is absolutely beautiful in every way. Thanks for 'taking me there'!

Mara said...

I love the flying dragon. It really looks like he`s airborn!

Carol said...

Great night shots....beautifully colorful...

photowannabe said...

What amazing lights and colors. The different figures are stunning. Perfect choice for the letter G.

Amy said...

Very beautiful photos - the lanterns are so colorful. Thanks for the taking us along!

Tumblewords: said...

A glorious celebration! Wonderful photos.

Denise said...

Fantastic series of photographs, loved all of them. A very interesting post as always.

Lily Hydrangea said...

these are amazing! I never knew the lanterns could be so large. they are quite beautiful!

Anders og Birgit said...

How amazing photos!

Spiderdama said...

Great and colorful G post!:-)
Wish you a nice day!

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

A lantern festival is something I've never seen - looks to be such a joyous event.

Carolyn Ford said...

What an exciting and colorful event. These are such fabulous captures and your nighttime photography is SO good!

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