The Spring Lantern Festival is enthusiastically celebrated in China, neighbouring nations and by the Chinese diaspora around the world. In Hong Kong it is an occasion of joy and relaxation, when all sections of society unite to celebrate the event as one. The festival which occurs on the15th day of the earliest month of the lunar calendar falls on the final day of the New Year festivities.
The event is also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day as couples take the opportunity to spend cherished moments together on this occasion. In times past single people would try their hand at matchmaking pursuits on this special day.
As you might expect on this night a myriad of lanterns are constructed, with innumerable colourful lanterns adorning storefronts, markets, hotels, restaurants and other places. In Hong Kong each year a spectacular lantern exhibition is held at the Cultural Centre. The beautiful creations are illuminated each evening and members of the public have the opportunity to examine these wondrous creations.
Unlike the ubiquitous simple red Chinese lanterns these painstakingly crafted masterworks are constructed in many different colours, shapes and forms. Many correspond to the current Chinese year; for example in the Year of the Tiger one may expect to find numerous tiger shaped lanterns. Additionally the central themes vary from one year to the next, with the various Chinese auspicious symbols also being highlighted. One of these is the pomegranate which signifies fertility and many offspring; another is the goldfish which symbolises wealth and prosperity.
At the same venue you will also find the Spring Lantern Carnival, another festive highlight which will enthral the visitor. This event features a number of performances and displays presented by different troupes, such as folk songs and dance, instrumental performances and acrobatic displays. You will also find a diverse selection of folk handicrafts displays which demonstrate arts such as lantern making, dragon making, paper cutting, traditional paintings and so on.
With all these festivities to look forward to the Spring Lantern Festival in Hong Kong is sure to be a delightful occasion for visitors to the city.
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