Year after year, is the Lantern Festival as you remember it?

  Reference message networkReported on February 19 Today is the rain in the solar terms in China, and it is also the last important festival in the Spring Festival customs — — Lantern Festival.

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  In June 2008, the Lantern Festival was selected as a national intangible cultural heritage. This traditional festival celebrated by China people has attracted worldwide attention.

  So, what is the China Lantern Festival in the eyes of foreign media? With this question, Xiao Bian put down the dumplings in his hand and opened the old newspaper of Reference News. While looking for foreign media reports on the Lantern Festival, he felt all kinds of changes and invariants in the development of the times … …

  In 2006, the online edition of The Times published an article entitled "Every household adheres to the ancient custom of eating Yuanxiao", which recorded the Lantern Festival time of a family in Beijing:

  "Wang wrapped in thick cotton-padded clothes and his mother stood in line for half an hour in the cold just to buy a bag of old brand Yuanxiao. The mother said: ‘ Such hard work is worth it. You have to eat Yuanxiao today, because it is a symbol of family reunion. ’”

  The word "stick to it" in the title of this article impressed Xiaobian. Why should we "stick to it" when eating Yuanxiao?

  Combined with the social background at that time, this problem is not difficult to understand. At that time, foreign festivals, commonly known as "foreign festivals", began to occupy a place in the lives of ordinary people in China, and even triggered a query that "traditional festivals are no match for foreign festivals".

  The most typical ones are Valentine’s Day and Lantern Festival. A "foreign festival", a traditional festival, is very close to each other every year: for example, the Lantern Festival is the second day of Valentine’s Day in 2003, and there is only one day between Lantern Festival and Valentine’s Day in 2006. The closeness of the two festivals made the topic of sticking to traditional festivals more prominent.

  For example, in an AFP article entitled "China people celebrate Valentine’s Day and Lantern Festival successively" in 2003, it was mentioned that China people celebrated Valentine’s Day with double joy this year, because people could celebrate the traditional Lantern Festival after Valentine’s Day at the same time.

  The media said that "since opening to the outside world, China has been more and more keen on Valentine’s Day". Although February 15th (Saturday) was the Lantern Festival that year, many people hung lanterns on the evening of 14th (Friday) to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Lantern Festival at the same time.

  After a lapse of three years, the Financial Times in 2006 also celebrated the "Foreign Festival" with "China in vogue"? It is reported that although China today is more confident and tolerant, not all China people are happy or optimistic about the fashion change of "foreign festivals" for young people. The newspaper mentioned a China person who rightly said: "Even if Valentine’s Day and Lantern Festival in the West are close this year, it can’t make ‘ Lover’s mood ’ Squeeze ‘ Celebrate the whole world and have fun with the people ’ The cultural connotation. "

  Today, 15 years later, when we look at the reports at that time, we may not feel so strongly about this topic. In Xiaobian’s view, even though China people have become accustomed to some "foreign festivals", their enthusiasm for traditional festivals such as the Lantern Festival has not diminished at all.

  Moreover, it has been proved that the traditional Lantern Festival custom has not faded with the progress of the times.

  In 2013, united press international reported that in Pingyao, Shanxi Province, every household hung red lanterns and set off fireworks to celebrate the Lantern Festival.

  Sarah brown, an Australian tourist, said, "We came to Pingyao from Beijing and felt the different atmosphere of the Lantern Festival. The atmosphere in Pingyao is more cheerful. It’s easy to get separated from friends in such a bustling street … … We feel the charm of the China Lunar New Year. "

  At that time, AFP reporters came to Nuanquan Town, Hebei Province, and recorded the local people’s way of ending the Lunar New Year with a unique "Da Shu Hua Show" performance.

  According to the report, this way of celebrating Lantern Festival, invented more than 300 years ago, is one of many ancient folk activities in China that have been restored in recent decades.

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On the evening of February 5, 2019, folk artists performed "Da Shu Hua Show" at the Asia-Pacific Temple Fair in zunhua city, Hebei Province. (Xinhua News Agency)

  AFP reporter recorded the process of the performance: the master who performed "Da Shu Hua Show" only "equipped" the straw hat and protective glasses. They scooped molten iron out of the bucket and splashed it on a brick wall. The iron flowers splashed on the brick wall, which was very spectacular.

  According to the report, this spectacular scene caused deafening cheers from the audience in Wenquan Town. Wenquan Town is only a few hours’ drive from Beijing. In order to promote the development of tourism, Wenquan Town resumed this folk activity with a history of hundreds of years.

  Of course, with the restoration of traditional folk customs, the way to celebrate the Lantern Festival is also changing in another way.

  In a report in 2017, the online reporter of Hong Kong Asia Times mentioned that when the Lantern Festival was held in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province in 2016, there was a beautiful electronic light show at the local Chinese Dinosaur Park, but it was not a traditional lantern, and of course there were no riddles.

  Spain’s Effie also noticed a new way to celebrate the Lantern Festival. The agency reported in 2016 that in order to celebrate the Lantern Festival, many people visited the Longqingxia Ice Lantern Art Festival in Yanqing District, Beijing. As one of the competition areas of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, many ice sculptures at the festival are sports-oriented.

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  Mr. Jiang, a tourist, came here with his family for the holiday. He said that although these ice sculptures are a little far from the traditional Lantern Festival celebration elements, he feels: "We should keep pace with the times, and these are very special." Mr. Jiang said: "Of course, this is not a traditional way to celebrate, but we like it very much, and the children are also very interested in ice sculptures", especially the ice sculptures with the theme of the 2020 Olympic Games.

  "With the development of economy and society, China people’s Chinese New Year activities are gradually changing to a more modern form." Effie commented.

  Of course, the Effie reporter also noticed that in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, not far from Beijing, the celebration activities are much more traditional. Besides singing and dancing in traditional costumes, there are also traditional folk activities such as walking on stilts.

  In short, Xiao Bian believes that both adhering to the traditional customs and exploring the modern ways of celebrating the Lantern Festival express China people’s persistence and love for the traditional festivals.

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As the Lantern Festival approaches in 2019, many activities such as Dragon Lantern Festival and Dragon Lantern Show are held in Guizhou Province to celebrate the Lantern Festival and the Spring Festival. (Xinhua News Agency)