Lantern Festival Lights Up Downtown LA | NBC Southern California

Lantern Festival Lights Up Downtown LA

A glowing tradition has a noontime start, at the Chinese American Museum.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ezekiel Tarango
    The Lantern Festival dances at the Chinese American Museum on Saturday, March 7.

    There's a rather satisfying "click" of sorts when two puzzle pieces slide together, but the click also occurs when two disparate happenings dovetail together in a delightful way over a single weekend.

    Daylight Saving Time is on approach, on Sunday, March 8, which makes the evening before a prime moment to contemplate darkness, sunshine, and the falling of evening, which, of course, falls later, to the joy of many, come the spring.

    Holding a lantern is a lively way to bid the final early evening adieu, an activity you can take part in at the Chinese American Museum's Lantern Festival. The downtown museum's free event is the last, last wrap-up, as in the very last, of the Lunar New Year celebrations, a happening that "occurs annually on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month to mark the closing of the Chinese New Year festivities."

    The Lantern Festival is on Saturday, March 7.

    It's a gathering that also looks to "foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of American's diverse heritage by sharing the history, cultural legacy, and continuing contributions by Chinese Americans ..." through the free festival.

    The cultural traditions, kidly activities, and general try-your-hand-at-this opportunities are plentiful: Calligraphy, the making of abacuses, the building of sheep (in honor of the new year), the creating of red envelopes, the fashioning of kites, and, you bet, lantern-making.

    Food trucks and community booths will dot the grounds, which are just a tuck up from Olvera Street.

    Everything starts at noon, well before the time lanterns take center stage, and end at 7 p.m., which gives you plenty of time to get home and set those clocks forward. 

    Will the Lantern Festival inspire more contemplation in the areas of light, evening, endings — the closing of the Lunar New Year — and the start of brighter nights? We suppose it can, but every traditional happening always works on a few levels: the fun had there, with the kites and lanterns, and the meaning we take when we leave.

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