Shaolin Temple Yunnan Spring Lantern Festival (元宵节 Yuánxiāojié) is a celebration with a tradition for more than 2000 years. It is also linked to the period of Emperor Ming of Han when Buddhism started to spread in China. The Emperor noticed that monks would light lanterns in the Buddhist Temple on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar New Year. From that time, lanterns were lit on the same day of the year and become a folk custom throughout the country.

There are many legends linked to this very important festivity in China. Another legend is associated to Taoism – Tianguan, the Taoist God has its birthday in the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Tianguan it is responsible for Good Fortune therefore in this particular day people celebrate and pray for good fortune.

During Spring Festival people use the greeting: Happy Lantern Festival! 元宵节快乐!Yuánxiāojié kuàilè! The event is celebrated by launching lanterns in the sky at night, read lanterns riddles, dragon and lion dance and eating the famous glutinous rice dumplings. The Lantern Festival it is also the first full moon of the Chinese New Year.

This year, the celebration started in the Shaolin Temple Yunnan under the Venerable Abbot Shi Yanbei. Monks, Guanyin Pusa followers, Buddhist disciples and students arrived at the Shaolin Temple to celebrate and pray. A light procession in the square and in the Shaolin Temple took place. The end of the ceremony was celebrated with fireworks.

Shifu Shi Yanjun and students experienced a great evening by participating in this very important event in the Shaolin Temple. They are all looking forward to be part of the Shaolin Temple’s life, learning from the monks life and they way of thinking. You cannot have a more outstanding experience in China than living, eating and taking part in all events of a Traditional Shaolin Temple.

We would like to thank Venerable Abbot of the Shaolin Temple Yunnan Shi Yanbei for this extraordinary opportunity and of course, to the Venerable Abbot of the Shaolin Temple Shi Yongxin. Without the Venerable Abbot Shi Yongxin, the Culture of Shaolin will not be known for our foreign disciples.


Dr. Rhea Du

Dr. Rhea Du

International Shaolin Cultural Exchange Ambassador of Shaolin Temple Yunnan