The Lantern Festival has been part of Chinese New Year celebrations since the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 221 AD).
Usually held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, it marks the end of New Year festivities.
It is said that the holiday evolved from an ancient Chinese belief that celestial spirits could be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the lunar calendar.
People used torches and eventually lanterns of every shape, size and colour to aid them in spotting the spirits.
The lanterns come in all shapes and sizes. Some are created in the form of animals, insects, flowers, people or even machines and buildings. Others depict scenes from popular stories teaching filial piety and traditional values. A favourite subject is the zodiac animal of the year.
In the Chinese Zodiac 2019 is the year of the pig
2019 (as of 5 February) is the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac. The pig is the 12th of the 12 animals in the zodiac. People born in the year of the pig are down to earth, no nonsense types, but are also energetic and enthusiastic. Pigs were born in the following years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019.