Spring Festival Lantern Fair Lights Up in Nanjing
Qinhuai Lantern Fair is held in Confucius Temple area, Nanjing during the Spring Festival period, from February 11 till March 3, 2010. The lantern fair is a very popular folk culture activity among the local people. It is usually held between the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival each year since 1986.
The origin of lantern fairs in Nanjing goes way back into the early days of the Southern Dynasties (420 - 589), when people held lantern fairs along the banks of Qinhuai River during the Spring Festival, to pray for a bumper harvest. Now the lantern fair has been expanded into a five-mile-long scenic belt and centered around the Confucius Temple area along the east bank of Qinhuai River.
The lantern fair in 2010 is the largest one of all time in Nanjing. There are 3 major exhibiting areas with altogether 91 groups of themed lanterns. Besides enjoying beautiful scenery of lanterns, there will be various folk entertainment shows and activities, such as diabolo (Chinese yoyo) playing, paper cutting, rope knotting, shadow puppet plays, acrobatic shows, ballad singing, and many more. About 400 thousand delicate lanterns are also on sale at stalls.
Strolling around the fair venue is the usual way of visiting the fair, besides, there is another good idea for enjoying the scenery – by boat. Passengers can sit in the traditional-Chinese-style boat and have some tea, while enjoying the beautiful lanterns along the river banks.