The Lantern Festival is a festival with a very long history. It is also the most lively festival in China's traditional festivals. Let's take a look at the origin and customs of the Lantern Festival!
The Lantern Festival originated in the Han Dynasty and has a history of more than 2000 years, but it really began to prevail or be valued by officials in the Tang Dynasty. Li Bai, Bai Juyi, Ouyang Xiu and other poets all left poems for the Lantern Festival. Since the Tang Dynasty, the Lantern Festival has become an official and folk traditional festival. On this day, the lanterns in Chang'an city are gorgeous. It is a good time for family reunion and lovers, and many romantic stories have been derived! Next, let's talk about the origin, folklore and customs of the Lantern Festival.
The origin and origin of the Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is a traditional festival in China. It began more than 2000 years ago in the Western Han Dynasty. The Lantern Festival began in the period of the Ming emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty. The Ming emperor advocated Buddhism. I heard that Buddhism had the practice of monks observing Buddhist relics and lighting lamps to worship the Buddha on the 15th day of the first month, so I ordered to light lamps to worship the Buddha in the Imperial Palace and temples on that night, so that the gentry and common people hung up the lamps. Later, this Buddhist ritual festival gradually formed a grand folk festival. The festival has experienced the development process from the palace to the people and from the Central Plains to the whole country.
During the reign of Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty, the 15th day of the first month was designated as the Lantern Festival. During the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, the sacrificial activities of the 'Taiyi God' were scheduled on the fifteenth day of the first month. (Mt. 1: the God who rules the universe). Sima Qian identified the Lantern Festival as a major festival when he created the Taichu calendar.
Another theory is that the custom of lighting lanterns on the Lantern Festival originated from the "three yuan theory" of Taoism; The 15th day of the first month is Shangyuan Festival, the 15th day of July is Zhongyuan Festival, and the 15th day of October is Xiayuan Festival. Those in charge of the upper, middle and lower yuan are heaven, earth and people. Heaven officials are happy, so lights should be lit on the Shangyuan Festival.
The festival period and festival customs of the Lantern Festival are extended and expanded with the development of history. In terms of the length of the festival, it was only one day in the Han Dynasty, three days in the Tang Dynasty, and five days in the Song Dynasty. In the Ming Dynasty, the lights were on from the eighth day of the first lunar month until the night of the seventeenth day of the first lunar month, for ten days. Connected with the Spring Festival, the city is lively during the day and spectacular at night. Especially the exquisite and colorful lights make it the climax of recreational activities during the Spring Festival. In the Qing Dynasty, the content of "hundred operas" such as dragon dance, lion dance, land boat running, stilt walking and Yangko dancing was added, but the festival period was shortened to four to five days.
The legend of the Lantern Festival
Legend of the origin of the Lantern Festival I
The Lantern Festival was set up by Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty to commemorate 'Pinglu'. It is said that after the death of empress Lu, the first Department of empress Lu was afraid that the whole collection would fall aside and plotted a rebellion. Liu Bao, the imperial family king of Qi, united with Zhou Bo, the founding Minister of the United Nations, to put an end to the 'chaos of Zhulu'. After the uprising, all the ministers supported Liu Heng, the second son of Liu Bang, to ascend the throne, known as Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty. Deeply aware that peace and prosperity had not come easily, Emperor Wen set the 15th day of the first month to quell the "zhulv rebellion" as a day of happiness with the people, and every family in the capital was decorated with lanterns to celebrate. Since then, the 15th day of the first month has become a folk festival celebrated all over the world - 'Lantern Festival'.
Origin and legend of the Lantern Festival II
The Lantern Festival, also known as' Shangyuan Festival ', is the first full moon night of the year. According to Taoism's "three yuan theory", the 15th day of the first month is Shangyuan Festival, the 15th day of July is Zhongyuan Festival, and the 15th day of October is Xiayuan Festival. Those in charge of the upper, middle and lower yuan are heaven, earth and people. Heaven officials are happy, so lights should be lit on the Shangyuan Festival. The custom of setting off fireworks on Lantern Festival comes from this statement.
Origin and legend of the Lantern Festival III
The Lantern Festival originated from the "Torch Festival". In the Han Dynasty, people held torches to drive away insects and animals in rural fields, hoping to reduce pests and pray for a good harvest. Even today, people in some areas of Southwest China still make torches with reed firewood or branches on the 15th of the first month, and dance in groups in the fields or grain drying fields. Since the Sui, Tang and Song Dynasties, it has been very popular. Tens of thousands of people participated in singing and dancing, from dusk to dusk. With the changes of society and times, the customs of the Lantern Festival have changed greatly, but it is still a traditional Chinese Folk Festival, and the torch has gradually become a colored lamp.
The custom of the Lantern Festival has a long history. Since the Mid Tang Dynasty, the Lantern Festival has developed into a national Carnival in China. Therefore, the Lantern Festival is the most thorough and typical traditional festival that embodies the traditional festival customs. So, now, what are the customs of the Lantern Festival?
Lantern Festival custom
The Lantern Festival is a traditional festival in China, so it is celebrated all over the country. The customs in most areas are the same, but all regions still have their own characteristics.
1. Eat yuanxiao
On the fifteenth day of the first month, we eat yuanxiao. As a food, Yuanxiao has a long history in China. In the Song Dynasty, a novel food for the Lantern Festival was popular among the people. This kind of food was first called "fuyuanzi" and later called "Yuanxiao". Businessmen also called it "Yuanbao". Yuanxiao is a kind of glutinous rice dumpling. It is filled with white sugar, rose, sesame, bean paste, yellow cinnamon, walnut kernel, nut kernel and jujube paste. It is wrapped into a circle with glutinous rice powder. It can be meat or vegetable with different flavors. It can be boiled in soup, fried and steamed, which means happy reunion. Shaanxi dumplings are not wrapped, but rolled in glutinous rice flour, or boiled or fried, hot and round.
2. Watch the lights
During the reign of emperor Yongping of the Han and Ming Dynasties (A.D. 58-75), because Emperor Ming advocated Buddhism, Cai Ying came back from India to obtain Buddhism. It was said that the Indian state of Mochida gathered monks to worship the Buddha's relics on the 15th of the first month, which was an auspicious day to participate in Buddhism. In order to carry forward the Buddha Dharma, Emperor Ming of the Han Dynasty ordered to light a lamp to show the Buddha in the temple on the 15th night of the first month. Since then, the custom of putting lanterns on the Lantern Festival has spread to the people from being held only in the court. That is, every 15th day of the first month, both gentry and common people should hang lamps, and the lights in urban and rural areas are bright all night.
The custom of putting lanterns on the Lantern Festival developed into an unprecedented light Market in the Tang Dynasty. At that time, Chang'an, the capital, was the largest city in the world with a population of one million, and the society was rich. At the initiative of the emperor, the Lantern Festival became more and more luxurious. After the Mid Tang Dynasty, it has developed into a national carnival. In the heyday of the Kaiyuan era of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 685-762), the lamp Market in Chang'an was very large, with 50000 lights and a wide variety of lanterns. The emperor ordered people to make a huge lamp building, with a width of 20 rooms and a height of 150 feet. It was golden and spectacular.
In the Song Dynasty, the Lantern Festival was better than that in the Tang Dynasty in terms of scale and fantastic lighting. Moreover, the activities were more folk and had stronger national characteristics. The Lantern Festival will continue to develop in the past dynasties, and the Lantern Festival will last longer and longer,. The Lantern Festival in the Tang Dynasty is one day before and after the Shangyuan Dynasty, two days after the 16th in the Song Dynasty, and ten days from the 8th day to the 18th day in the Ming Dynasty.
In the Qing Dynasty, when the Manchus came to the Central Plains, the palace no longer held lantern fairs, but the Folk Lantern fairs were still spectacular. The date was shortened to five days and continues to this day.
Lights in Taiwan have the meaning of light and addition. Lighting lights has the meaning of lighting up the future, and Taiwanese lights and Ding are homonymous for giving birth to boys. Therefore, in the past, women on the Lantern Festival deliberately walked downstream of the lights in the hope of "drilling the feet of the lights to give birth to eggs" (that is, walking downstream of the lights to give birth to boys).
3. Chinese Valentine's Day
The Lantern Festival is also a romantic festival. In the feudal traditional society, the Lantern Festival also provides an opportunity for unmarried men and women to get to know each other. Young girls in the traditional society are not allowed to go out for free activities, but they can go out together for fun during the festival. The Lantern Festival is just an opportunity for friendship. Unmarried men and women can also find objects for themselves through the Lantern Festival. During the Lantern Festival, it is also an opportunity for young men and women to meet their lovers.
In Taiwan, there is also the traditional custom that unmarried women steal onions or vegetables on the Lantern Festival night and will marry a good husband, commonly known as "steal onions and marry a good husband" and "steal vegetables and marry a good son-in-law". Girls who hope to have a happy marriage want to steal onions or vegetables in the vegetable garden on the Lantern Festival night, looking forward to family happiness in the future. There are also music and dance performances in the light market of the Tang Dynasty, with thousands of palace maids, Folk girls download songs and dance at the lights, which are called walking songs and stepping songs.
Ouyang Xiu (Sheng chazi) said: on the first night of last year, the flower market lights were like books; The willow shoots head on the moon, and the people make an appointment after dusk. Xin Qiji (jade case) wrote: people look for it thousands of times. When they look back, the man is in the dim light. It is to describe the situation of the Lantern Festival. The traditional opera Chen San and Wu Niang met at the Lantern Festival and fell in love at first sight. Lechang official document and Xu Deyan reunited on the Lantern Festival. In the spring lantern riddle, Yu Wenyan and Ying Niang were engaged in love on the Lantern Festival. Therefore, the Lantern Festival is also China's' Valentine's Day '.
4. Go all wrong
In addition to celebrations, the Lantern Festival also has religious activities. The participants are mostly women. They walk together, either by the wall, or across the bridge and the suburbs, in order to drive away diseases and disasters.
With the passage of time, there are more and more activities in the Lantern Festival. Many local festivals increase activities such as playing Dragon lanterns, playing lions, walking on stilts, rowing dry boats, twisting Yangko, playing Taiping drum and so on.
On the fifteenth day of the first month, there are some little-known folk activities that have been lost. Here are two or three.
In ancient times, there were "seven sacrifices", which were two of them. The method of sacrifice is very simple. Insert poplar branches above the door, insert a pair of chopsticks in the bowl containing bean porridge, or directly put wine and meat in front of the door.
5. Rat chase
This activity is mainly for sericulture families. Because rats often eat large tracts of silkworms at night, it is said that on the 15th of the first month, rats can not eat silkworms if they are fed rice porridge. Therefore, these people boil a large pot of sticky porridge on the 15th of the first month, and some cover it with a layer of meat. They put the porridge in a bowl and put it in the ceiling and corner of the wall where the mice haunt. They also chant words while putting it in their mouth, cursing the mice that they won't die if they eat the baby silkworm again.
Zigu is a kind and poor girl in folklore. On the fifteenth day of the first month, purple Gu died of poverty. People sympathize with her and miss her. In some places, the custom of "welcoming purple Gu on the 15th of the first month" appeared. On this day and night, people tie a life size portrait of purple Gu with straw and cloth. The women stood next to the toilet, pigsty and kitchen where Zigu often worked to meet her. Like their own sisters, they took her hand, talked to her and comforted her with tears. The scene was very vivid and truly reflected the thoughts and feelings of the hardworking people who were kind, loyal and sympathetic to the weak.