Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Lantern Festival


    Introduction:

    The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, coinciding with the first full moon night following the Chinese New Year, also being known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day that is one of the traditional festivals of Macao. It usually involves lantern displays, riddle games and the consumption of tangyuan (sweet glutinous rice balls). Traditionally, the Lantern Festival marks the end of a series of celebrations of the Spring Festival. Chinese communities in Macao used to hang lanterns around their houses. Nowadays, the Lantern Festival is an occasion of great celebration, when Macao’s public streets and squares are decorated with all kinds of lanterns and there are also other festive lantern displays being organized.

     

    Conservation Status:

    The Lantern Festival is celebrated almost simultaneously with the Chinese New Year in Macao. During the Lantern Festival, there are also other activities that are characteristic being held, such as riddle games, lantern making workshops and the display of various lanterns. The diverse array of activities held in Macao under the theme of the Lantern Festival is popular with the public, including the activities that are held in front of the Hong Chan Kuan Temple on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, the “Lantern Fair” and the “Lantern Festival Evening Party” that takes place in the Lou Lim Ioc Park and the old Albergue of the Macau Holy House of Mercy.

     

    Heritage Value:

    The Lantern Festival is a  traditional festival of Macao with a long-standing history, being an important event that also serves as testimony about the transmission and continuity of the traditional Chinese culture in Macao. With its local customs and characteristics, this event also has a significant value for the study of the local folk culture. As an occasion for family reunion and gathering with friends, the Lantern Festival plays a crucial role in advocating community care and consolidating social relationships.


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