Custom and Culture of Lantern in the Song Dynasty

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In Song Dynasty (960—1279), Chinese people achieved a lot in the field of science and technology, such as inventions of powder, compass and printing technology. Yuan Dynasty (1271—1368) was a unified dynasty ruled by Mongolian people in Chinese history. Its capital was located in Dadu , today’s Beijing.

In Song and Yuan Dynasties, including Liao Country (916—1125) and Jin Country (1115—1234), lamp utensils were mostly made of pottery with unvarnished materials and styles.

Lantern festival, as a carrier of science and technology, had a great development in Song and Yuan Dynasties. ‘Plentiful craftsmen with all skills competed with each other and presented various art articles’.  Gradually, lantern festival became an activity of engagement of common people.

The custom and culture of lanterns

In the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD) the custom and culture of lanterns became very important festival among the traditional festivals in China, its name is the Lantern Festival. The joyful atmosphere, the participation of all walks of social strata and the development of commercial economy greatly generated and demonstrated the wisdom and talent of the Chinese working people, representing the beautiful will of the people of all nationalities in China. Then came the custom and culture of Lantern Festival with a typical nation flavour and folk feature, which crowned with glory on the vast and bountiful land. According to the recordings in the ancient book titled Anecdote in Kaiyuan Tianbao, “by the day of the seventh of the first lunar month, people put on their doors innumerable bunches of straw made like dragons, on which hundreds and thousands of lamps and candles were placed. From the distance these lamps and lanterns were seen just like two dragons flying in the sky” . ” Ladies in the Han States During the Warring States Periods erected on the hills hundreds of lamp trees with eighty Chi, about thirty-nine meters high, which were lit on the night of Shang Yuan, the 15th of the first lunar month. These lamp trees were seen brightly lightening from hundreds of li away”.

The navigation of Chinese Lantern and Lantern Festival

The lanterns in Song Dynasty

3 Color Porcelain lamp in Song

3 Color Porcelain lamp in Song

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