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Friday, February 26, 2010

Lantern Festival is also a Day for Lovers

Moms and Dads, did you know that according to old Chinese belief, the Moon Minister of Marriage Yue Lao set you both up to marry many, many first-full-moon-of-the-year years ago?

Yes, it is said that this distinguished deity matches baby boys and girls on the 15th night after the Chinese New Year, when the first full moon of the year is out. He matches pairs by binding a magical red thread around them.

Here is something that describes this bonding found in old Chinese poems:

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break."

Yue Lao is often depicted as an old man with flowing beard, holding a staff with orbs in one hand, and a scroll tied with red thread on the other. The scroll supposedly contains the names of all the matched pairs who would become husband and wife eventually. In other depictions he holds red thread or a red scarf.

Yue Lao also has temples, and people wishing for relationships and marriage visit his temple to honor him.

You may like to see ChildBook products about Lantern Festival and celebrating the Chinese New Year :

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes

Lanterns and Firecrackers A Chinese New Year Story by Jonny Zucker, English
Lin Yi's Lantern, A Moon Festival Tale by Brenda Williams, English, Hardcover

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