WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Chinese lantern festivals began about 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty. Although no one knows the origin, it’s believed the festival was meant to celebrate the “declining darkness of winter,” the ability to move through the dark with human-generated light.
Celebrated during the first month, on the 15th day of the lunar calendar, the festival begins around February or March. Although lantern festival customs vary regionally, most festivals celebrate with lanterns, guessing lantern riddles, eating tangyuan (ball-shaped dumplings) and lion dances. Today, lantern festivals have gone global and are celebrated annually around the world. Come and see our magical take on these grander-than-life lanterns and see all of our exhibits, watch our nightly cultural performances, and so much more!