Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lantern Festival

This is a LEGO take on the Taiwan tourism agency's logo for the Lantern Festival. This is a Chinese festival during February (on the first full moon of the lunar year, to be precise) that is now more cultural, but may have religious origins. This celebration, which has gone on for over a thousand years, involves colorful lanterns, including sky lanterns, traditional foods, and also fireworks. There are various legends about the origin of the festival, and some of them involve folk religion. In one legend, the festival started out as a sacrifice to Taiyi, the God of Heaven. Another story says that the festival was to entertain the Taoist god Tianguan and pray for good fortune in the new year. Still another had the festival start when villagers lit red lanterns and set off fireworks to trick the Jade Emperor in heaven into believing that the village was in flames, so that he would not destroy them for killing his sacred crane. Other non-religious origin stories involve commemorating a heroic warrior and a girl who was reunited with her parents when they came to watch the flying lanterns (hmm, Tangled anyone?).

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