After you know about What is the Lantern Festival? The Lantern Festival history is a very long time. According to the folk legend, the 15th day in the new year(lunar calendar) has been arosen increasing attention in the Western Han Dynasty. In the night, Emperor Wu of Han worship “Tai Yi” campaign at the Oasis Temple.(Tai Yi): The God who dominated all the world. Emperor Wu of Han is the emperor who worships the God first.
As the folk festival, the 15th day in the new year is after the Han Dynasty and Wei Dynasty. Buddhism interacted the Eastern Han Dynasty play an important role that promote the formation of the customs of Lantern Festival.
In Yongping period, Han Emperor Ming (AD 58 – 75 years) started to promote Buddhism, when Cai Yin come back from India for obtaining Buddhist. He said that during the first month 15th every year(lunar calendar) in India, monks gathered together to respect worship the Buddha relic. It is an auspicious time to worship Buddha. For promoting Buddhism, the Han Emperor Ming ordered “Enlightening for the Buddha” in the palace and the monasteries at night. With the expansion of cultural influence of Buddhism and the interacting Taoism culture, the customs of enlightening in the 15th of the first month is gradually expanded in China.
There is another opinion that,the Chinese Lantern Festival is originated from Torch Festival.The people in Han use the torch to drive the beast of the field and reduce the pest.Today,in Southwest of China,people use tree branches to make torches.Holding torches in farms or drying field, singing,and dancing. Lantern Festival is very popular in the Sui, Tang, Song Dynasty. Singers and dancers reach the tens of thousands of participants, from dusk to dawn, never stop until people are tired. As the society and the times were changed , the customs of the Lantern Festival already had made significant changes, but is still a Chinese folk traditional festivals.
Another theory about the Lantern Festival history is that, the custom originated in the Lantern Festival Lotus Lantern was from Daoism’s “San Yuan Shuo”;In lunar calendar ,the first month was on the 15th for “Shang Yuan Festival”, July 15 for the “Zhong Yuan Festival or Hungry Ghost Festival”, October 15th for the “Xia Yuan Festival or Ha Yuen Festival”.(In China “Shang”means up”,”Zhong”means “middle”,”Xia”means “down”.)..Management of Shang Yuan’s God is the Sky God.Management of Zhong Yuan’s God is the Earth God.And management of Xia Yuan’s God is the People God.The sky god Represents pleasure and joy,So in the Lantern Festival everybody will be lotus lanterns.
Lantern Festival is extended with the historical development. Lantern Festival’s Holiday length one day in Han,three days in Tang, five days in Song. And in Ming the Lantern Festival started from 8th to 17th, its length is 10 days. Connecting with the Spring Festival, the market enlightening during the day and night , it is spectacular. Colorful Lanterns are one of the important points during the Spring Lantern Festival entertainment.
To the Qing Dynasty, but also added the dragon dance, lion dance, stilt and other “Bai Xi” content, but the holiday season be shortened to 4-5 days.
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