Lantern Festival or Yuanxiao Jie is a traditional Chinese festival, which is fall on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese New Year. It is the last day of two weeks long Chinese New Year celebration. Yuan literally means first, while Xiao refers to night. Yuanxiao means the first time when we see the full moon in a new year. It is traditionally a time for family reunion. The most prominent activity of the Yuanxiao Festival is the displaying of all types of beautiful lanterns. So the occasion is also called the Lantern Festival. People with their family will gather in the show place to enjoy the beautiful lanterns displayed by individuals or the local municipal. Kids will carry their own lanterns to participate in the showcase. Usually there is competition for the most beautiful lantern. There are many different beliefs about the origin of the Lantern Festival. But one thing for sure is that it had something to do with religious worship.
Besides entertainment and beautiful lanterns, another important part of the Lantern Festival, or Yuanxiao Festival is eating small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour. We call these balls Yuanxiao. Obviously, they get the name from the festival itself. The fillings inside the dumplings or Yuansiao are either sweet or salty. Sweet fillings are made of sugar, Walnuts, sesame, osmanthus flowers, rose petals, sweetened tangerine peel, bean paste, or jujube paste. A single ingredient or any combination can be used as the filling. The salty variety is filled with minced meat , vegetables or a mixture.