Victoria Dr., Vancouver: (604) 324-3665; Minoru Blvd, Richmond: (604) 303-7977; Kingsway, Burnaby: (604-336-9977)

Origins of the Lantern Festival

Every year on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar, just after the Spring Festival, is the traditional Chinese festival - Lantern Festival, which is also known as the "Shangyuan Festival". The 15th day of the first lunar month is the night of the first full moon in the year. People celebrate this and it is also a continuation of the celebration of the new year.

According to Chinese folk tradition, on this night when the bright moon hangs high in the sky, people will light up thousands of lanterns to celebrate. Going out to admire the moon, lighting the lanterns, guessing lantern riddles, eating Lantern Festival, family reunion, and celebrating the festival together are all fun traditions related to this special occasion. Like many other traditional Chinese festivals, the Lantern Festival has a long and rich history. Lantern Festival celebrations began around 2,000 years ago in the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), while the tradition of appreciating lanterns originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty under the rule of Emperor Ming (58-75 AD). During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Buddhism had been gaining influence in China. Emperor Ming advocated Buddhism. He heard that in Buddhism, on the 15th day of the first lunar month, monks looked at the Buddha's relic and lit lamps to respect Buddha, so he ordered his people to hang up lights everywhere. Later, this Buddhist ritual festival gradually became a grand folk festival that the people know and celebrate today.

There is also a myth and legend about the origin of the Lantern Festival. It is said that a long time ago, there were many ferocious birds and beasts, hurting people and livestock everywhere. People tried to group up to slaughter them. However, a holy bird from heaven lost its way and wandered into the human world and was accidentally killed. When the Emperor of Heaven found out, he was very angry, and immediately sent an edict, ordering the soldiers of heaven to set fire to the world on the fifteenth day of the first month, and burn all the property of human beings and animals to death. The daughter of the Emperor of Heaven was kind-hearted and could not bear to see the innocent suffering of the common people, so she risked her life and secretly drove auspicious clouds to the world to tell the people the news. The people were shocked and frightened, not knowing what to do. After a long time, an old man came up with a solution. He said, "On the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth days of the first lunar month, every household will decorate their houses with lanterns and lights, blow off firecrackers and set off fireworks. In this way, the Emperor of Heaven will think that the world is set on fire."  Everyone nodded and started preparing. On the night of the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, the Emperor of Heaven looked down and found that the world was filled with red light and loud noises.  He thought the world was punished with flames and was very satisfied. The world was saved. Since then, people have continued to set off firecrackers and hang red lanterns to commemorate the event every year.


Vancouver Location


5797 Victoria Drive
Vancouver, BC

Tel: (604) 324-3665 

Time: Open 7 days a week,
Dine-in: Daily 11:00am - 7:30pm
Online Order: Daily 11:00am - 7:00pm

Richmond Location


5960 Minoru Boulevard
Richmond, BC

Tel: (604) 303-7977

Time: Open 7 days a week,
Dine-in: Daily 11:30am - 9:30pm
Online order: Daily 11:30am - 9:00pm

Burnaby Location


4727 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC

Tel: (604) 336-9977

Time: Mon, Wed to Sun (Tue closed)
Dine-in: Daily 11am - 8:30pm
Online order: Daily 11am - 8pm (Tue closed)