Celebrating the Chinese New Year dates back to thousands of years ago, where it was said that the ancient people of China battled with Nian, a mythical beast that came out to hunt people and animals during the night of the new year’s eve. Later, people found that the Nian is scared of the color red, fire, and loud sounds—thus, the start of the age-old tradition of launching fireworks, hanging lanterns, and donning the color red to protect themselves from the Nian.
Decorating and lighting lanterns have now become an essential part of Chinese New Year traditions, a way for people to let the heavens hear their prayers for an amicable future and good luck. In the Taiwanese dialect, the Chinese word for lantern (dēng) is pronounced similarly to (dīng), which means a new-born baby boy. That’s why it’s believed that lighting lanterns illuminates the future and gives birth to a good year.
The joint efforts of Makati Shangri-La Manila, Asian Dragon Magazine, and Chinatown TV made Colorful Passions: A Chinese New Year Lantern Exhibit a success yesterday, February 1, 2016, at Makati Shangri-La Manila. The metro’s top Filipino-Chinese schools displayed their colorful and meaningful lanterns at the the exhibit floor, showcasing the students’ creativity and love for the Chinese culture.
In attendance were the directors, heads, advisers, and students from the participating schools Chiang Kai Shek College, Hope Christian High School, Immaculate Conception Academy, Northern Rizal York Lin School, Philippine Cultural College, Philippine Institute of Quezon City, Philippine Tiong Se Academy, Saint Jude Catholic Schoool, St. Peter the Apostle School, St. Stephen’s High School, Xavier School Nuvali, Xavier School San Juan, and Jubilee Christian Academy.
The lanterns will be on exhibit at Makati Shangri-La from February 1 to 12, 2016.