City to celebrate Lantern Festival with folk cultural activities

People can enjoy riddle guess competitions, lantern shows and temple fairs on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year.

Performers dance during a procession at the Yuyuan Garden shopping complex yesterday as part of celebrations for the Lantern Festival, which falls tomorrow. 

Folk cultural activities including riddle guess, lantern shows and temple fairs will be held in the city to celebrate the Lantern Festival tomorrow. 

Colorful lanterns illuminate Yuyuan Garden in Huangpu District, with a 9-meter-tall barking canine as the highlight among 40 installations to mark the Year of the Dog.

The Shanghai Mass Art Museum in Xuhui District will let visitors experience the traditional culture of the festival with an ancient wedding blending Han-style costumes, folk culture, dance and shadow play of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). A shadow puppet performance of stories in “Journey to the West” and a handicraft market will also be part of the celebration.  

At Jiading Confucius Temple area, a temple fair will take the spotlight tomorrow and Saturday. Craftsmen will make sugar paintings, clay figurines, paper-cuts, and woodcut nianhua, or Chinese New Year painting. Ancient blessing ceremonies and Han-style costume parades will be held, and tourists will be invited to guess riddles and make bookmarks with Han-style costume patterns. The most interesting part is that the imperial examinations, or keju, will be replicated there. 

Nearly 1,000 riddles have been hung at the Fengjing Watertown along a lantern corridor, and ancient costume dramas, which the audience can watch on boats, will be performed on a riverside stage. A river lantern float ceremony will be held at night at the town, an ancient tradition of the festival. 

At the Fangta Park, tourists will be invited to taste tangyuan (glutinous rice balls wrapped around sweet or salty stuffing), a traditional food of the festival. Guyi Garden will host a riddle guessing competition, another festival tradition.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Customers buy tangyuan, glutinous rice balls, for the Lantern Festival at Wangjiasha Restaurant yesterday.

Sales of tangyuan have soared in traditional Shanghai restaurants like Wangjiasha and Meixin.

At a Wangjiasha store on Nanjing Road W., a person in charge, surnamed Liu, yesterday told Shanghai Daily that in the past two days they sold 20,000 boxes of different flavored tangyuan daily. The store expects the number to climb to 30,000 today and tomorrow.

“Our tangyuan makers are now working overtime to ensure abundant supply,” Liu said. “We need to meet the customers’ demand.”

For Meixin Snacks, another snack store famous for its tangyuan, a notice was posted on the door when Shanghai Daily visited it at 6pm yesterday, saying its tangyuan had been sold out for the day.

Wang Sen, manager of Meixin Snacks, said tangyuan products were sold out within hours. He told Shanghai Daily that they sold about 20,000 tangyuan balls a day and as the Lantern Festival approaches, they plan to raise the production for customers. 

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