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Qinhuai Lantern Fair

http://www.chinese.cn 14:32, September 3, 2009 chinaculture.org

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The Qinhuai Lantern Fair, popular during the annual Spring Festival and the Yuanxiao Festival, is also called the Jinling Lantern Fair. It is an old tradition in Nanjing City, East China's Jiangsu Province.

The Qinhuai Lantern Fair came into being in the Six Dynasties Period (265-581) and was popular in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was said that in the Ming Dynasty, the fair became popular when Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang ordered a spring lantern fair to be held in this region (then the capital) to celebrate both the coming new year and the prosperity of the country. Since then, this tradition was passed down from generation to generation, to pray for good weather, a happy family, and peace.

Since the 1920s, the fair has been mainly held in the area surrounding Confucius Temple, and usually lasts one month from the first day of January of the lunar calendar.

When the Spring Festival comes, the temple becomes a sea of lanterns. The trees in the temple are ornaments with colorful lights, which look brilliant at night. The Lantern Festival is the most charming, during which the lanterns glisten along the Qinhuai River and people gather to enjoy happiness and serenity. Different kinds of lanterns are for sale at the Confucius Temple. Many children sing songs and play with the festive lanterns.


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