The Lantern Festival began in Han dynasty(A.D. 25 - A.D.220 )There are many legends associated with this festival. One of them being that celestial spirits could be seen in the first full moon of the lunar calendar.To help them find spirits they used torches which gave way to lanterns.
The lantern festival is held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar and it is at the end of the New Year festivities.
It is also referred to as Chinese valentines day as it was a rare change for boys and girls to come together on this day.
Of course there were dumplings for sale in Hagley park and many other treats and I watched a dragon and lion dance group from Shanghai. The lanterns were just amazing. As after my first shot the battery of the camera went flat, on our walk through the park the next day I made some more photos. All the pictures are only some of the many lanterns. They are of course much more beautiful at night.
Fish by the bridge
Isn't it great to take a punter and just drift alongside the lanterns in the river.
Lantern Festival poem in Tang Dynasty (618A.D—907A.D) :
The light is brightly, tonight the no-go area is opening.
The horse gallop that stirred up the dust,the moon seemed to follow the people.
The young singing girls look more beautiful, they walk and sing songs.
The capital guards does not work tonight, the drum will not urge the people back home.
As it is the year of the dragon, there were several dragons. I loved this one.