The Chinese Lantern Festival also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival took place on the 6th of February this year, it is an important cultural event in the Chinese calendar as it marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations and spectators can expect to see some visually spectacular and stunningly beautiful displays!
Some call it the ‘experience of a lifetime’ and if you are lucky enough to be there for it, it is not something that you are ever likely to forget!
People hold parades, make amazing and intricate sculptures in ice and other materials, release colourful lanterns up into the skies, set off extravagant fireworks and in some places residents hurl hot metal against a wall to treat spectators to a remarkable show of flashing embers!
There are various ideas as to the beginnings of the festival – which is deep-rooted in ancient Chinese history, but its underlying themes are to promote and celebrate good relations between people, the natural world and the higher beings whom it is believed are responsible for bringing the light each year.
Below are more photos from the Chinese Lantern Festival and the Yanqing Ice Festival in Beijing, China on Monday, February 6, 2012.