Monday, September 12, 2011

China field trips: Lantern Walk

The Lantern Walk is a kid-friendly part of the Mid-Autumn Festival.  In Singapore, there were two big ones.  One in Chinatown and another at the Esplanade, our performing arts venue.  We opted for the latter because the walk was along the river promenade - not in the streets - and seemed a little better for our young ones. 
Moonfest at the Esplanade
The Lantern Walk is just what it sounds like.  A bunch of people, holding lanterns, and walking in the moonlight.  There are a crazy variety of lanterns here.  The traditional ones are lit with a candle, while the newer ones use a modified single Christmas lightbulb.  Most are made out of paper, though there's plastic ones now too. 

lantern stall
The procession this time was led by a Dragon dance team, complete with drums and about 10-15 people holding up the huge dragon.  We walked for about 15 minutes, making a loop along the riverfront.  The kids enjoyed being part of the crowd and being out past dark.  It ended just in time to race home for (a late) bedtime.

our dragon leader
The Whirl Girl and her friends with their lanterns

the lantern walkers and the dragon
If there wasn't a Lantern Walk in your neck of the woods, you can organize your own.  Make a few paper lanterns and walk around the block with your neighbors!  If you don't like the idea of having a candle so close to paper (we didn't either), a flashlight would work just as well.  You can even make your own dragon to lead the parade.  

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