It marks the grand finale of the Spring Festival celebrations: the Lantern Festival. Each year on the fifteenth of the first month (according to the Chinese Calendar), the Spring Festival comes to an end with yet another day of fireworks, and special festivities. In fact, while the emphasis is on fire cracking in the beginning of Spring Festival, it is the great displays of fireworks and light-shows that characterize the Lantern Festival. Many towns organize big shows with glamorous fireworks and lantern parades (showing off uniquely shaped and decorated lanterns), while private citizens take advantage of the chance to fire up yet another array of fireworks in all shapes and sizes.
The origins of the Lantern Festival are not quite certain, as there are numerous legends circulating with regards to how and why this festival first was implemented. Many of those legends commonly refer to events of where the setting up of lanterns and lighting of fireworks was done to prevent some destruction that was to come upon the people. In other instances, the day’s activities were catered towards ensuring favor and blessings from various deities.
Today, a very common practice – besides the displaying of lights in all its forms – is to eat dumplings and glutinous rice balls (tangyuan).