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The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival with great significance.
This day’s important activity is watching lanterns. Throughout the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), Buddhism flourished in China. One emperor heard that Buddhist monks would watch sarira, or remains from the cremation of Buddha’s body, and light lanterns to worship Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, so he ordered to light lanterns in the imperial palace and temples to show respect to Buddha on this day. Later, the Buddhist rite developed into a grand festival among common people and its influence expanded from the Central Plains to the whole of China.
Till today, the lantern festival is still held each year around the country. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, attracting countless visitors. Children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets, extremely excited.
这一天重要的活动就是看灯啦。早在公元前206年至公元220年的汉代，佛教就在中国盛行。有一位 帝王听说僧侣可以看到舍利，也就是佛被火化后留存在体内的东西，在阴历的正月十五这一天点灯敬拜佛祖，于是这位帝王就命令这一天在他的宫殿和庙宇里点灯以 表现他对佛祖的尊敬。此后，这项佛教仪式发展成为普通民众的盛大节日，它的影响力从中原地区一直蔓延到整个中国。