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"Together with Love, Light up Kinmen" County Magistrate Invites All to Celebrate Lantern Festival

"Together with Love, Light up Kinmen" County Magistrate Invites All to Celebrate Lantern Festival
2017/02/05
Reporter: Wong Wei-Jhih / Summary Report

"Together with Love, Light up Kinmen". The 2017 Lantern Festival will take place on February 11th, and Kinmen County Magistrate Chen Fu-Hai invites everyone to celebrate the holiday together. He has asked the Cultural Affairs Bureau to organize an event to give people a joyful Lantern Festival steeped in local culture. The Cultural Affairs Bureau announced a series of 2017 Lantern Festival celebration events, including the "Lantern Painting Demonstration" on February 10th from 13:00 to 17:30 at the front courtyard of the Wu Jiang Academy, the "Hand-held Lantern Distribution and Show" in front of the Military Headquarters at 17:30 on February 11th, and the main events, "Lantern Festival/Lantern Lighting Ceremony/Celebrity Performance" and "Jhong Jheng Elementary School Lantern Parade", which will be held on the evening of the Lantern Festival.
In keeping with local traditions, the lantern parade will feature participants holding red banners, musicians, a flag-bearing team, a dragon dance team, lantern halberd wielders, flower basket holders, a lion dance team, a themed parade group, a group to "welcoming new fortune", and drummers, adding a playful atmosphere to the climax of the New Year festivities.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau announced that this year's parade will begin at the Kinmen Military Headquarters of the Qing Dynasty, move along the Cultural Corridor, turn left at Juguang Road, passing Lingji Temple, East Gate Dai Tian Fu Temple, Wu Yue Temple, South Gate Matsu Temple, Mincyuan Road, Guangcian Road, Waiwu Temple, City God's Temple, Jhongsing Road South Section, Juguang Road Upper Section, Neiwu Temple, Mincyuan Road, Jhong Jheng Elementary School, Wu Jiang Academy, Jhongsing Road, Beijhen Temple, Residence of Scholar Wu, and return to the Military Headquarters, stopping to make offerings and pray for blessings at each temple.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau pointed out that the Jincheng Township in Kinmen County was called Houpu in the past. Located in the southwest of Kinmen, it is the most densely populated township, as well as a political and economic hub. A sizable settlement had already formed in the area starting from the Tang and Song dynasties, and the township even became a political and economic center during the reign of the Kangxi emperor in the Qing Dynasty. To let visitors experience the culture and warm hospitality of "Houpu Township", Kinmen's political and economic hub since the Qing Dynasty, organizers prepared "nng ting-kha" at the East Gate Dai Tian Fu Temple, one of the Lantern Festival's main venues, and tested the lanterns last night.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau explained that "nng ting-kha" is said to be a method of matchmaking; in the past, marriage was often arranged by the parents or with the help of matchmakers, and before the wedding, the couple would not have many opportunities to meet. Therefore, they would use the Lantern Festival as a chance to see each other. The woman would offer prayers with her mother at the temple, while the man would be arranged by his parents or matchmaker to pray at the temple as well, and the couple would sneak glances at each other under the lantern. It's an ancient way of matchmaking.
"Last year at the Lantern Festival, the lights made the evening as bright as day, and with the moon shining from the tops of the willows, two lovers met after dusk. This year at the Lantern Festival, the moon and the lights remain the same, but I see not my lover of yesteryear, and tears drench the sleeves of my blue gown." Written by Song Dynasty poet Zhu Shuzhen, "Wild Hawthorn" describes the romantic scene of an unmarried couple seeing the lanterns together. This year's Kinmen Lantern Festival features the festive and fascinating "nng ting-kha" organized by the "Yang Zai-Ping Team". Everyone is welcome to come and experience the unique atmosphere and joy of Lantern Festival celebrations in Kinmen.

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  • Date:2017-11-30