Light Up The Night

Jacksonville Lantern Light festival celebrates Chinese culture.

Rita Albert, Editor-in-Chief

The Morocco Shrine Center in Jacksonville is holding a six week celebration that celebrates the Chinese culture known as the Lantern Light festival. Traditionally, this festival began in the Eastern Han Dynasty up to 2000 years ago. It began when the emperor heard that some monks lit lanterns to show respect to Buddha and soon after, the emperor ordered all temples, households, and other places do it too. The Chinese New Year period ends with this festival.

The festival contains many different activities. Of course there is the lighting and appreciating of the lanterns, which is the main activity of the festival. The lanterns depict traditional Chinese images and are hand-crafted by Chinese artisans with different unique styles. Other activities include guessing the lantern riddles (riddles pasted on the lanterns), lion dances (a traditional Chinese folk dance), and eating tangyuan (a sweet ball-shaped dumpling).

This festival started on March 8 and will end on May 5 at the Morocco Shrine Center on St. John’s Bluff. They have different packages and ticket prices, for example, a family pass, VIP, and a children’s activity package. Tickets are available online along with more information at