Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Lantern Festival from Amoy (Xiamen) China

Ahoy from Amoy (historic Xiamen, China)--and Happy Lantern Festival!
Lantern Festival Xiamen February 1992 Shannon Matthew Brown Amoy 元宵节 厦门中国福建

Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāojié,元宵节  is the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar.  We love the light shows at Xiamen's Zhōngshān (Sun Yat-sen) Park, and when the boys were young we bought them battery-powered plastic lanterns and join the parades of parents and children walking up and down Zhongshan Rd. I had as much fun with the lanterns as the boys did--perhaps more fun! I wish our granddaughter, Katherine Ruth, were closer so I'd have an excuse to buy a lantern (she's in Arkansas; Matt moved to Arkansas because the Bible said to "go to the uttermost parts of the earth"; just joking--we all love N.W. Arkansas, though S.E. Arkansas is.... different).

According to tradition, on Lantern Festival, young lassies prowl the streets at night, hanging around the lanterns or pulling up people’s vegetables--all to boost their chances of getting married.  I don’t see why uprooting veggies will increase their odds at matrimony and domestipation--unless she wants to get her husband a higher celery? (Sorry, I was too puny to resist that punishing opportunity; I hope you don't retaliate with punitive measures).

Girls eligible for marriage cast divining blocks, and then set out to stroll in some auspicious direction until she meets a person--any person at all. She memorizes the first word that they say, and then she seeks out a fortune teller who explains (for a fee, of course) if the word is lucky or unlucky, which determines whether she will marry that year or not.

Whether you're hankering to get married or not, or just getting your kicks from pulling up innocent vegetables (should make a Veggie Tales episode about this1), enjoy Lantern Festival!

Enjoy Amoy!

Dr. Bill
School of Management, Xiamen University
Academic Director, SMXMU OneMBA
Amazon eBook
"Discover Xiamen"

Bill Brown Xiamen University

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