The Lantern Festival or the Spring Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Usually falling in February or early March on the Gregorian calendar, it marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations.
In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones.In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs.For example, lanterns are now often made in the shape of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year. The lanterns are almost always red to symbolize good fortune.
The festival acts as an Uposatha day on the Chinese calendar.In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and among Chinese communities in South East Asia, it has become identified as the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day. It should not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival; which is sometimes also known as the "Lantern Festival" in locations such as Singapore and Malaysia.The Lantern Festival has also become popular in Western countries, especially in cities with a large Chinese community. In London, the Magical Lantern Festival is held annually.