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Shanghai expats get involved in Lantern Festival

2014-02-14 13:19 CNTV Web Editor: Li Yan

As Lantern Festival marks the end of lunar New Year celebrations, residents in Shanghai are already taking part in activities to mark the event. Local expats are getting involved in the festivities.

Warren Nash, who has lived in Shanghai for almost a decade, began celebrating the festival over the weekend when he took part in a lantern fair in his community. He learned to make his own lantern and tried to solve some lantern riddles - a popular game during the festival, and his children spent some time drawing lanterns.

"It's good because it's a family thing. I like the riddles. I'm still learning Chinese. So I like the riddles on the red lanterns, and trying to solve them if I can," said the Australian expat.

Some fair visitors also learned the art of sugar painting. They said taking part in the fair offered them a bigger sense of belonging.

"I think this kind of event is a very good opportunity just to remember, also the people that there is such a kind of festivity. I think many new comers in China don't even know about the Lantern Festival," said German expat Igor Zarenko.

Yuyuan Garden has already set up its annual lantern show, and many people took in the spectacle over the weekend despite the cold weather. The show includes 1,000 lanterns, some of which were designed according to traditional Chinese legends.

Some visitors say they want to learn more about the origins of the festival, and how it is celebrated across the country.

"Lantern Festival, I know that is a Chinese New Year tradition that they make the lanterns at home. When they go outside their home, they'll light it up in front of their houses. But I was thinking, is it connected with that one that it's to draw away the bad luck?" said Swedish student Frank Juris.

The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar New Year, and this year's coincides with Valentine's Day.

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