The Chinese Lantern Festival, which is on the 15th of the first lunar month and marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, will fall on Saturday this year. During the Lantern Festival, besides eating the iconic treat yuanxiao (glutinous rice balls), it's also a tradition to go out at night to enjoy lantern shows.
This year Beijing has prepared several large lantern shows and we have selected some to guide you through the Lantern Festival.
1. Beijing Garden Expo Park Grand Lantern Show
The Beijing Garden Expo Park is preparing a grand lantern show this year, which marks the largest scale in China and Asia in the past decade.
The lantern show displays nearly 100 lit-up structures, and focuses on themes including "Dazzling Beijing", "National Events", "Children's Paradise" and "Embracing Winter Olympics". The lanterns are designed based on the profound historical and cultural foundation of China, and showcases a prosperous nation.
Date: Jan 29 - Feb 17, 2017
Location: 15 Shejichang Road, Fengtai district
Admission: 100 yuan
2. SOLANA's 9th Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival at the shopping district is one of the earliest and largest in Beijing and attracts large crowds of people each year. This year's festival invites six artists from Yang Art Museum to build on the theme of "light and source", and explores the collision between art and business space.
Date: Dec 9, 2016 - Feb 28, 2017
Location: No 6 Chaoyang Park Road, Chaoyang District
3. Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival
This year the ice lanterns will focus on the Winter Olympics. Elements of the Winter Olympics can be seen everywhere during the festival. 350 sets of flower lanterns, 2,000 sets of tree lanterns, 350 pieces of ice lanterns, 200 ice engravings and 100 snow engravings will turn Longqing Gorge into a fairy tale world.
Date: Jan 15 - end of Feb, 2017
Location: Jiuxian town, Yanqing county
Admission: 100 yuan, children below 1.2 meters free
4. Ancient Yongning town lantern show
More than 2,000 lanterns decorate the ancient Yongning town in celebration for the traditional Chinese Spring Festival. The lantern show will revolve around the message: "Seek richest Chinese New Year taste and enjoy most beautiful icy and snowy Yanqing". The town's upcoming two big events, the Winter Olympics and Horticultural Expo 2019, will also be showcased.
Date: Jan 20 - Feb 12, 2017
Location: Ancient Yongning town in Yanqing district
5. Dongcheng ICH temple fair
Besides lantern shows, there are also temple fairs where you can experience Beijing culture.
The 7th Dongcheng Spring Festival ICH temple fair starts on Feb 9 and will last for three days. During the temple fair, various Beijing snacks, which have been listed as intangible cultural heritages, are on sale. Traditional handicrafts are also for sale and folk dances are performed.
Date: Feb 9–11, 2017
Location: 7 Chongwenmenwai Avenue, Dongcheng district
6. Tongzhou folk custom temple fair
The Xiji town in Tongzhou has the most traditional temple fair, where you can see unique folk performances and stunts. One of the eye-catching performances is the walking on stilts, which has been a tradition here for 120 years.
Date: 2 pm, Feb 11, 2017
Location: Langfu Cultural Square, Xiji town, Tongzhou district