Even in the Glodok district of Jakarta, where you don't feel Chinatown-like when you go out of the temple when you see many red lanterns hanging in the alleys, you realize that this is Chinatown. The red round lanterns were swaying in the wind in the alleyway I was passing by.
Since I visited Jakarta at the end of January, I thought these lanterns on the streets were to celebrate the Chinese New Year coming soon, but it seemed to be a little different exactly.
In China, the 15th day of the full moon after the Chinese New Year's Day is called Lantern Festival, and it is said that there is a custom to decorate the streets with lanterns. The lanterns that adorn the streets are not so much to celebrate the Spring Festival as they are to celebrate the Lantern Festival. As I suspected, the lanterns on the streets of Taipei, which I visited in the latter half of January, may have been similarly designed to celebrate the Lantern Festival.
It seems that when Buddhism was introduced to China, the Indian people also celebrated the Buddha's relics on the 15th day of the New Year, and lanterns were used in Buddhist rituals, which led to temples lighting lanterns and holding pujas on the Lantern Festival, and the common people began to follow suit.
It seems to be a part of Chinese culture, and the lanterns were inscribed with good-luck phrases. The first half of the lantern is not visible, but it says "如意". I guess it is a wish for the new year to be the year that I want it to be.
November 10, 2020
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF
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