Red lanterns hanging in Jinli Street, Chengdu, China
© Philippe LEJEANVRE/Getty Image
Lighting the way to a new year
The Lantern Festival marks the last day of Lunar (aka Chinese) New Year celebrations, which began on 12 February when we ushered in the Year of the Ox. Traditionally, the day of the festival is filled with dancing, firecrackers, children's games and food - including tangyuan, a dessert made from balls of rice flour and loaded with sweet fillings. After sunset, people gather to light or observe lanterns like the ones we see here in Chengdu, China. The lanterns are made in all sizes, shapes and colours, and sometimes illustrate historical or mythological scenes. This year, most public celebrations will be off or reimagined online due to the pandemic, but the spirit remains the same. Many think of lanterns as being symbolic of a new start and a way to illuminate the future as a new year begins.