The Lantern Festival (traditional Chinese: 元宵節; simplified Chinese: 元宵节; pinyin: Yuánxiāo jié), also called Shangyuan Festival (traditional Chinese: 上元節; simplified Chinese: 上元节; pinyin: Shàngyuán jié), is a Chinese traditional festival celebrated on the full moon, the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Usually falling in February or early March on the Gregorian calendar, it marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE–25 CE), it had become a festival with great significance.
During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns (traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; pinyin: cāidēngmí). In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in the shape of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year. The lanterns are almost always red to symbolize good fortune.