Lantern Festival Activities

Sky lantern cartoon for the lantern festival

What is The Lantern Festival?

The Lantern Festival is the biggest celebration of the Lunar New Year. Shops and restaurants reopen and there are holiday performances and lantern parades. The streets are buzzing with people excited to see the giant lanterns on display. Some lanterns are as big as parade floats or even as big as a house! Children carry small decorative lanterns and join in on the festivities including eating Tangyuan and solving riddles.

photo credit: Lynda Giddens

When is the Lantern Festival?

The lantern festival is held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar and marks the final day of Lunar New Year celebrations in Taiwan and China.

Lantern Festival Vocabulary in Chinese

Lantern Festival

Traditional Chinese: 元宵節
Simplified Chinese: 元宵节
PInyin: Yuánxiāo jié.

Happy Lantern Festival

Traditional Chinese: 元宵節快樂
Simplified Chinese: 元宵节快乐
Pinyin: Yuánxiāo jié kuàilè


Traditional Chinese: 燈籠
Simplified Chinese: 灯笼
Pinyin: Dēnglóng

Sky Lantern Festival

There’s no doubt that one of the most beautiful sights to behold is the Pingxi (平溪) sky lantern festival held each year in Taiwan. Thousands of people write their wishes on the lanterns and release them into the night sky.

Photo credit Jirka Matousek – Pingxi (平溪) Lantern Festival in Taiwan

Environmental Impact of Sky Lanterns

After the festival in Pingxi (平溪), it is reported that about 600,000 pieces of lantern trash fall from the sky and litter the surrounding countryside and mountains. While more eco-friendly options are available, they are expensive and patrons choose the cheaper option. Sky lanterns also pose a fire risk and are already banned in many countries. In the U.S, sky lanterns have been banned in 30 states.

Sky Lantern Printables

Although this year we were not able to return to Taiwan for the holidays, we can still celebrate and learn about the Lantern Festival! I created these sky lantern printables for my children to write simple wishes to decorate our home. This is a great alternative to a sky lantern — no environmental waste or fire risk!

Click on the links below to download the desired file.

Traditional Chinese Printables

Simplified Chinese Printables

Wishes for Your Lantern

Here are some simples wishes to write on your lantern.

Healthy Body: 身體健康 / 身体健康

Happy Family: 闔家歡樂 / 阖家欢乐

Improve Studies: 學習進步 / 学习进步

Wishes Granted: 心想事成

More Lantern Festival Activites for Kids

photo credit: Taipei Lantern Festival

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