The Chinese lantern festival is celebrated in the first month of the Lunisolar calender, on the 15th day, which is the first full moon of the New Year. This is usually in February or March according to the Gregorian calender. This year, it will be celebrated on Monday, February 22. In China, the streets are decorated with lanterns of every shape and size, and signifies the ending of the Chinese New Year season. Children in China walk to the temple solving puzzles on the lanterns. Many of the traditions are different, depending on the area of China, but the common traditions are making dumplings and rice balls (tangyuan). The entire family gathers to eat together. The bowls and the food are used to symbolize family togetherness as well as bring the family happiness and good luck in the new year. Fireworks also play a part in the festivities, as they help to ring in the new year. Many people feel that the Lantern festival is a way to have a new beginning, letting go of the past and embracing the new future.
Today our students explored and learned about the Lantern Festival. They made lanterns and were given tangyuan for snack. This part of learning about different cultures is so important for raising global citizens!