Falling on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month (2nd March 2018), the Lantern Festival is so named because the most important activity during the night is looking at Chinese lanterns. It is also a time for admiring the bright full moon, and family reunion.
Usually everyone eats 元宵 Yuánxiāo (sticky rice balls stuffed with different fillings) on that day and so it is also called the Yuan Xiao Festival.
Various traditional customs and activities associated with the Lantern Festival have developed over the past 2 000 years. These include: watching lanterns and fireworks: guessing lantern riddles, performing folk dances, and eating Yuánxiāo.
The hanging of lanterns is believed to have begun during the Han Dynasty (206BC - 220AD), when Buddhism flourished in China. In order to popularise Buddhism, one of the emperors gave an order to light lanterns in the imperial palace to worship and show respect for Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month.
Later lighting lanterns became a tradition for Chinese people and today, when the festival comes, red lanterns can be seen in streets, houses and shops.
The best place to see lanterns in Yangshuo is in the Yangshuo Park
Each year the park is decorated with colourful lanterns as well as this year's Chinese zodiac's animal