Beijing enjoy snowy Lantern Festival

2010-03-02 08:59 BJT

Special Report: 2010 Spring Festival |


Sunday marked the fifteenth day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. It's also known as the Lantern Festival. In Beijing, snow and drizzle was no deterrence to the merrymaking crowds who poured onto the pedestrian streets of Qianmen to celebrate.

The 600-year-old Qianmen street was given a makeover and the Lantern Festival was its coming out party. The street was decorated with colorful lanterns and flowers for Sunday's festivities.

The 600-year-old Qianmen street was given a makeover and the Lantern Festival was its coming out party. The street was decorated with colorful lanterns and flowers for Sunday's festivities. 
The 600-year-old Qianmen street was given a makeover and the Lantern Festival 
was its coming out party. The street was decorated with colorful lanterns and
flowers for Sunday's festivities. 

Beijing craftsmen set up booths to entertain the festive crowds who poured onto the street to get an authentic taste of Beijing culture. Qianmen has long been the place for lantern fairs. It's very location on the central axis of Beijing makes it a favorable option for tourists from far and wide. Many people pose by the flower altars and lantern stands to take pictures and record the moment of joy.

Wang Shiren, member of Beijing Cultural Relics Protection Committee, said, "Lantern fairs date back to the Han Dynasty. That's some two thousand years ago. The tradition reached its climax in the Tang Dynasty, when the fairs were also held along the central axis of its capital city."

And to the cheerful chorus of children, the lanterns are lighted up and down the street, bringing a joyful and festive atmosphere.

A tourist said, "I have checked online for Lantern Festival activities. We come from Guangzhou, and this is the first time we have ever seen snow. "

Sunday's cloudy weather might have blocked out a clear vision of the moon, which is said to be the fullest in the year of the Tiger, but the snow is traditionally thought to be an auspicious sign. In Chinese culture, Lantern Festival snow often heralds a year of peace with a bumper harvest.