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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some Legends about the Lantern Festival

When the first full moon of the year goes up 15 days after the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival is celebrated. This year, the Lantern Festival is on Feb. 28, 2010.

It is believed that the gods are in full force during this lucky time. It comes as no surprise that there are so many legends about the Lantern Festival.

For now we will look at 3 of the other more active dieties expected to circulate during this special night :

- The God of Destiny, Taiyi, is all set to fulfill desires.
- Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, is all ready to accept wishes, so families throw offerings to rivers.
- The Moon Minister of Marriages matches baby girls and boys, who will marry who when they grow up.

Taiyi is the god of heaven who controls human destiny. He has 16 dragons who can do his bidding should he wish to inflict drought, storm, famine or pestilence on the human race. During the lantern festival, splendid ceremonies are dedicated to Taiyi in exchange for good health or good weather throughout the year.

Mazu is the Goddess of the Sea and grants wishes to families. Families dedicate lanterns and an assortment of offerings so that their wishes may be granted.

What to toss to the river as offering for wishes to the Goddess of the Sea:

Oranges - Prosperity for husbands
Apples - Luck for Wives
Longan - to have kids
Red Dates - to have all good things in life
Pebbles - to have a coins
Coins - for more prosperity, treasures.

The Lantern Festival is also the time for the Moon Minister of Marriage to pair up baby boys and girls. It is the day marriages are made on the moon. He binds a boy and a girl with a magical red thread. Years later, when they are grown, they will meet on a night of the first full moon. They will feel that they are fated to their heaven-on-earth connection.

Yes, the Lantern Festival is a night of enchantment and happy wishes, indeed.

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