Lantern Festival 2016: 5 things you may not know about the Chinese celebration

The Lantern Festival takes place on the 15th day of ther first month in the lunar calender

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The Independent Online

Google has marked the last of the Chinese New Year celebrations with with a Doodle of the Lantern Festival.

Here are five facts about the festival:

1. The Lantern Festival takes place on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar to mark the first full moon of the Chinese year and the coming of Spring.

2. This festival dates back more than 2,000 years and involves global celebrations involving light displays and the launching of thousands of sky lanterns.

3. The lanterns are released to represent the longer daylight hours and the light from the full moon.

4. The festival has long been the Chinese equivalent of the West's Valentine's Day since it was one of the few days single women were allowed to leave the house unaccompanied.

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5. In addition to lanterns, this festival is celebrated by lion and dragon dances as well as the eating of dumplings made from rice flour – called tangyuan.