Lantern Festival 2024: About, Significance & How to Celebrate

Lantern Festival 2024: About, Significance & How to Celebrate

As the Lunar New Year festivities draw to a close, the Lantern Festival luminates the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. This age-old tradition, deeply rooted in Chinese culture, holds a significant place in the hearts of millions around the world. Learn about the Lantern Festival - its origins, symbolism, and how you can partake in its vibrant festivities with Vita Herbal Nutrition.

Understanding the Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival, also known as Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival, falls on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar, marking the end of the Chinese New Year period. This year, in 2024, it graces us with its radiance, starting on the night of The 24th of February and is celebrated over 5 days

Significance and Symbolism

1. Celebrating the First Full Moon:

Historically, the Lantern Festival began as an occasion to celebrate the return of spring and the first full moon of the lunar year. It symbolises the coming of light after the darkness of winter, signifying hope, renewal, and the promise of new beginnings.

2. Honouring Ancestors:

Beyond its celestial significance, the Lantern Festival holds deep cultural and spiritual meanings. Families gather to honour their ancestors, offering prayers and expressing gratitude for their blessings. It's a time for reflection, reverence, and familial bonds.

3. Dispelling Evil and Misfortune:

Lanterns, with their radiant glow, are believed to ward off evil spirits and misfortune. People write their wishes and hopes on the lanterns before releasing them into the night sky, symbolising the release of worries and welcoming blessings.

4. Unity and Community:

Lantern Festival celebrations bring a sense of unity and community. Streets and public spaces are adorned with colourful lanterns, and people come together to enjoy traditional performances, lantern displays, and tasty treats.

5. Embracing Herbal Traditions:

In addition to lanterns and dragon dances, the Lantern Festival also embraces the rich tradition of TCM herbs. Various herbs, such as Dang Gui, Yu Zhu, and Huang Qi, hold symbolic significance during this time, offering not only medicinal benefits but also spiritual and cultural value. Incorporating these herbs into festive dishes or teas during the Lantern Festival reflects a holistic approach to health and well-being, symbolising renewal, vitality, and harmony with nature. As families gather to celebrate, they honour ancient herbal wisdom, bringing a deeper connection to their roots and the enduring traditions that enrich their lives.

Honouring Herbs

These three TCM herbs not only reflect the essence of the Lantern Festival but also embody the holistic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, potentially offering nourishment, balance, and vitality to those who partake in their benefits during this auspicious time of celebration and renewal.

Dang Gui (Dried Angelica Root):

Dang Gui, also known as Chinese Angelica, is a beloved herb in TCM often associated with the Lantern Festival that comes from the Angelica Root Plant. Renowned for its potential blood-nourishing properties, it is used to possibly promote circulation, alleviate menstrual discomfort, and may tonify the body's vital energy. During the Lantern Festival, Dang Gui may be incorporated into traditional dishes or herbal teas to potentially support overall well-being and vitality, enhancing the festive spirit of renewal and rejuvenation.

Huang Qi (Dried Astragalus Root):

Huang Qi, also called Astragalus Root, holds a special place in TCM for its potential immune-boosting and energy-restoring properties. Known as a tonic herb, Huang Qi is traditionally used to potentially strengthen the body's defences, increase vitality, and could support overall wellness. During the Lantern Festival, Huang Qi may be incorporated into festive dishes Astragalus tea or herbal astragalus preparations in the UK to potentially enhance resilience, promote longevity, and may encourage the flourishing of health and prosperity in the new year.

Yu Zhu (Dried Solomon's Seal Rhizome):

Yu Zhu, or Solomon's Seal Rhizome from the Solomon's seal plant, is another herb deeply rooted in TCM tradition and commonly enjoyed during the Lantern Festival. Known for its potential moisturising and lung-nourishing properties, Yu Zhu is often used to potentially soothe dryness, relieve cough, and may promote respiratory health. As the Lantern Festival coincides with the transition from winter to spring, Yu Zhu may be included in soups or desserts to help nourish the body, replenish moisture, and usher in the season of renewal.

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How to Celebrate the Lantern Festival in the UK

Lighting Lanterns:

Embrace the tradition by crafting or purchasing your own lanterns during this festive period. Whether traditional red ones symbolising good luck or intricate, modern designs, let your creativity shine as you adorn them with wishes and dreams before releasing them into the night sky.

Enjoying Festive Foods:

Indulge in the culinary delights associated with the Lantern Festival using herbs such as Angelica root, Astragalus root and Solomon's Seal. Tangyuan, sweet rice dumplings symbolising family reunion, are a must-have treat during this time. Other favourites include rice cakes, spring rolls, and various savoury delicacies.

Attending Festivities:

Join in the vibrant festivities in your local community over the five days or host your own Lantern Festival gathering. Participate in lantern parades, dragon dances, and cultural performances. Engage in traditional activities such as solving riddles written on lanterns or playing folk games.

Reflecting and Connecting:

Take time to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year ahead. Spend quality time with loved ones, sharing stories, and creating cherished memories. Use this occasion to strengthen bonds and forge deeper connections with those around you.

    Year of the Dragon 2024

    In Chinese culture, the Year of the Dragon holds profound significance, revered for its association with power, strength, and good fortune. During the Lantern Festival, the presence of the Dragon symbolises protection and auspicious beginnings, as it dances through the streets, its majestic form illuminated by vibrant lanterns. Wearing red during this time is believed to attract luck and ward off negativity, aligning with the symbolism of the festival where red signifies prosperity, happiness, and vitality. Embracing the energy of the Dragon and donning the lucky colour of red, individuals immerse themselves in the festivities, seeking blessings for the year ahead while celebrating the timeless traditions that unite communities in joy and harmony.


    As we bask in the glow of the Lantern Festival's luminous beauty, let us embrace its rich traditions, profound symbolism, and spirit of unity. May the light of the lanterns illuminate our hearts and minds, guiding us towards a future filled with joy, prosperity, and harmony.

    So, as the lanterns ascend into the night sky on February 24th, carrying our hopes and dreams aloft, let us remember the timeless wisdom and enduring spirit of the magical Lantern Festival, uniting us in celebration and renewal over these final coming days.

    Happy Lantern Festival!

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