Chinese culture

Valentine Day? No, it’s the Lantern festival!

Feeling anti-Valentine or don’t have a date for Valentine Day?  Well, not to worry! We have a perfect excuse for you today…. 元宵节 (Yuánxiāo jiéà the Lantern festival! It falls today and is a very important festival in China because it marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations! So why not celebrate that instead, if Valentine Day and adorable Valentine cards aren’t your thing?

Red hearts or sticky rice balls?

In any case, the Lantern festival a great excuse to hang up gorgeous Chinese lanterns and chow down on the Lantern festival’s most traditional food: 元宵  Yuánxiāo – sticky rice dumplings!

Yup, today you can slurp down yummy 元宵 – delicious and round balls of sticky rice filled with a sweet filling of sesame (for instance – there also are savory kinds) that are served in a clear soup. These dumplings are also called 汤圆 Tāngyuán in some part of China.

Use the festival for valentine day!

And, if you’re pro-Valentine and want to celebrate both events, you can also simply use this festival for a fun Chinese-inspired Valentine Day!

Also, if you’re thinking of taking your relation to another level today, you’re in luck!  It’s pretty rare that both events fall on the same day (last time was over 19 years ago) so today is considered a particularly auspicious day for weddings and such things – awesome if you’re planning on proposing 🙂

Family or love? A tough choice for some!

For the Chinese, though, this double festival thing puts everybody in a hot pickle: do you celebrate the Lantern Festival – oh, only the second most important Chinese festival after the Chinese New Year – with your family, and slurp down delicious big round sticky rice balls or do you go out with your honey to celebrate your love?

An option could be to invite your date home to partake in the family celebrations but that wouldn’t be the most romantic move, would it?

Which would you choose? Love or family? Dumplings or chocolates?

The Nincha Team

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