Occurring on the 15th day of the initial month of the Lunar New Year, when the first full moon appears, the Lantern Festival is a festive time that continues the good cheer and celebration sparked by Chinese New Year. It also simultaneously marks the end of that annual event. It’s a time when lanterns and other colorful lights and decorations adorn stores, businesses, and streets in Chinese communities around the globe. Aside from honoring ancestors, the festival is also meant to foster peace, forgiveness, and harmony.
Lantern displays are the center of attention during the Lantern Festival in Taiwan. Parks across the island are often decorated with many lanterns depicting everything from the Chinese zodiac animal of the year to traditional Chinese folk stories. In addition, there are other stimulating activities, including lion and dragon dances, fireworks displays, and various parades. Schoolchildren make small lanterns at schools as well. There are also traditional foods associated with the Lantern Festival, such as tangyuan and dumplings. With tangyuan’s round shape, the treats symbolize the completeness and unity of the family.
It is believed that the origin of the Lantern Festival can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE) and is linked to a ritual that was performed by Buddhist monks which involved lighting lanterns to honor Buddha. There are also some colorful legends related to how the festival came about. One tells the story of the Jade Emperor becoming enraged at some townspeople who killed his beloved crane. His plan to burn the town to the ground was foiled by his daughter, who advised the people to light numerous lanterns in the town to trick the emperor into believing it had previously been set ablaze.
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Whatever the true roots of this joyous occasion, the Lantern Festival is enjoyed in cities such as Taipei, which will host the 2023 Taiwan Lantern Festival. According to local officials, the upcoming lantern show will focus on creativity and fashion.
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What Did You Learn?
1. According to the passage, who of the following people is NOT celebrating the Lantern Festival?
(A) Tiffany is paying tribute to her ancestors.
(B) Jerry is eating traditional foods with his family.
(C) Kelly is worshiping the Jade Emperor to increase her fortune.
(D) Michael and his friends are making interesting lanterns in the classroom.
2. According to legend, why did the Jade Emperor decide against burning down the town?
(A) All the residents in the town lit lanterns to plead for mercy.
(B) He mistakenly believed the town was already on fire.
(C) The townspeople gave him a new crane as a gift.
(D) His daughter used magic to change his mind.
答案: 1. (C) 2. (B)
Words in Use
1. spark vt. 引起，激發
Reading that famous writer’s novels has sparked my imagination and creativity.
2. simultaneously adv. 同時
Al could simultaneously sing and play the guitar by the age of eight.
3. adorn vt . 裝飾
The government adorned the streets with decorations for Chinese New Year.
4. foster vt. 促進，助長
This project will help foster the creation of new jobs.
5. stimulating a. 富饒趣味的
I like to talk with my three-year-old daughter because we always have stimulating conversations.
1. be meant to V 旨在／本意是要…
This book is meant to help readers understand the stock market.
2. be traced back to + 時間／時期
= date back to + 時間／時期
This vase’s origin can be traced back to the 18th century. 這只花瓶的起源可以追溯至十八世紀。
3. burn... to the ground 徹底燒毀
burn down. . ./ burn. . . down 燒毀
Before the firefighters arrived, the house had already been burned to the ground.
A fire broke out last night and burned down the whole building.
4. trick sb into V-ing 欺騙某人去做某事…
The conman tricked me into giving him NT$10,000.
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