The Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden | Photo Outing

The Lantern Festival (also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival in ChinaChap Goh Meh Festival in IndonesiaMalaysia and SingaporeYuen Siu Festival in Hong Kong, and Tết Thượng Nguyên” or “Tết Nguyên Tiêu” in Vietnam; corresponding Japanese event Koshōgatsu); is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the Chinese calendar, the last day of the lunisolar Chinese New Year celebration. It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is sometimes also known as the “Lantern Festival” in locations such as Singapore and Malaysia. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns (simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; pinyincāidēngmí). It officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.

In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones; in modern times, lanterns have been being embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in shapes of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting a new one, which they will let go of the next year.

Throughout the history of China, lanterns have been symbols of hope, rejuvenation, and celebration. Lanterns are integral to the most mundane or important rituals of life; in support of communication with the god; for ceremonial purposes; as symbols; and in festivals.

The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival with great significance.

This day’s important activity is watching lanterns. Throughout the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), Buddhism flourished in China. One emperor heard that Buddhist monks would watch sarira, or remains from the cremation of Buddha‘s body, and light lanterns to worship Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, so he ordered to light lanterns in the imperial palace and temples to show respect to Buddha on this day. Later, the Buddhist rite developed into a grand festival among common people and its influence expanded from the Central Plains to the whole of China.

Today, the lantern festival is still held each year around the country. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, attracting countless visitors. Children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets, extremely excited.

Commemorating its 25th year of work on the Flora of China project, in 2012 the Garden hosted Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night, a unique opportunity to witness a spectacle rarely staged outside Asia.

via Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night.

See the photos at Photography by McGraphics
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San Diego California

Photos from San Diego California


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San Diego, named after Saint Didacus (Spanish: Diego de Alcalá), is the second-largest city in California and the ninth largest city in the United States, located along the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of the United States. San Diego has a population of 1,279,329 (July 2008 estimate) This coastal city is also the county seat of San Diego County as well as the economic center of the San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos Metropolitan Area considered congruent with the county. It was rated the fifth best place to live in 2006 by Money Magazine. According to Forbes the city of San Diego ranks as the fifth wealthiest in the United States.San Diego’s biggest industries are manufacturing, the military, and tourism.

Sunsets

Sunsets from Sunset Country Club in St Louis, Missouri.


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St Louis Gateway Arch

St Louis Gateway Arch at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial


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The Gateway Arch, also known as the Gateway to the West, is an integral part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the iconic image of St. Louis, Missouri. It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base, making it the tallest monument in the United States. Construction of the arch started on February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965. The monument opened to the public on July 10, 1967

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was designated as a National Memorial by Executive Order 7523, on December 21, 1935, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS).

The park was established to commemorate several historical events:

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