The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, marking the final day of the Chinese New Year celebration. This year, it falls on Sunday and a string of events will be held this weekend across Shenzhen. Wear your hanfu, cheongsam or Tang suits to celebrate the special occasion!
On Saturday, which is also Beginning of Spring on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, visitors are invited to wear Chinese hanfu in Xiangmi Park to attend activities and claim souvenirs or KFC coupons at the service center. Make your own lanterns at an event and hold it as you wander in the park.
Solving riddles that are written on or attached to lanterns is also an indispensable part of the Lantern Festival. Visitors who solve riddles Sunday morning in the park can claim gifts.
Floral arrangement lovers should not miss an activity, in which you will learn to make creative floral arrangements using rose, chrysanthemum or bamboo leaves. Attendees can enter a lucky draw to win gifts.
Visitors solve riddles at a previous Lantern Festival event at Xiangmi Park. Photo from the park’s WeChat account
Hanfu event: 2:30-6 p.m., Feb. 4
Lantern making: 9-11 a.m., Feb. 4
Riddle solving: 9-11 a.m., Feb. 5
Floral arrangement: 2:30-6 p.m., Feb. 3-5
Venue: Xiangmi Park, Futian District (香蜜公园)
Metro: Line 7 to Nonglin Station (农林站), Exit C
A field on the south square of the Civic Center has been planted with wheat, attracting passersby to take photos in the past week. To embrace the Beginning of Spring and Lantern Festival, a camping activity will be held Saturday, during which a children’s painting activity and a photography event will be held in the morning. String, ballad and folk concerts will also be held on this weekend’s afternoons.
Locals take photos at the wheat field near Civic Center on Feb. 1. Photo by Chen Yu
Camping: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Feb. 4
Concerts: 3:30-5:30 p.m., Feb. 4; 4:30-5:30 p.m., Feb. 5
Venue: Civic field, south square of Civic Center, Futian District (市民中心南广场市民花田)
Metro: Line 2 or 4 to Civic Center Station (市民中心站), Exit D
Huaqiangbei Pedestrian Street
Now through Feb. 6, residents can stroll along Huaqiangbei Pedestrian Street to admire lanterns in the style of the old palace lanterns in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Coffee and beer are sold at a market on the street.
Scenes on Huaqiangbei Pedestrian Street. Photos from WeChat account “happyfutian”
Venue: Huaqiangbei Pedestrian Street, Futian District (华强北步行街)
Metro: Line 1 to Huaqiang Road Station (华强路站), or Line 2 or 7 to Huaqiang North Station (华强北站)
Visitors will be treated to delicious Taiwanese snacks, such as roasted sausages, oyster omelets, braised pork rice bowls and pig-blood cakes, at a fair in Dongmen this weekend. Traditional lanterns and modern light projections will decorate the old architecture in Dongmen, inviting people to take photos. In ancient China, Lantern Festival is also a romantic festival providing an opportunity for singles to meet. Romantic installations and handicrafts at the fair are waiting for lovers to check out.
Traditional lanterns in Dongmen. Photos from WeChat account “newluoohu”
Modern light projections decorate the old architecture in Dongmen.
Roasted food are treated in Dongmen.
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Feb. 4-5
Venue: Dongmen Cultural Square, Luohu District (东门文化广场)
Metro: Line 3 to Shaibu Station (晒布站), Exit D3
Spend your Lantern Festival by strolling on the Taojin Mountain Greenway. In ancient times, rambling on Lantern Festival was a tradition among Chinese people who believed it could drive away diseases and disasters. At Qixia Station of the greenway, you will admire lanterns and enjoy performances. Make your own rabbit-shaped lanterns and take them home.
Visitors in hanfu at a previous Lantern Festival event in Luohu District. Photo from WeChat account “newluoohu”
Time: 2:30-5:30 p.m., Feb. 5
Venue: Qixia Station, Taojin Mountain Greenway, Luohu District (淘金山绿道栖霞驿站)
Metro: Line 5 to Buxin Station (布心站), Exit A and then walk eastward to get to the Taojin Mountain Greenway
Dawan Ancestral Residence
Apart from enjoying colorful lanterns and solving riddles, visitors can join workshops to make rabbit-shaped lanterns and retro scented sachets or to paint on fans at the Dawan Ancestral Residence. Wear your beautiful outfits, wander in the centuries-old Hakka compound and read classic poems; you will spend an unforgettable weekend.
Colorful lanterns at the Dawan Ancestral Residence. Photos from WeChat account “PSRM2020”
Time: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Feb. 3-5
Venue: Dawan Ancestral Residence, Pingshan District (大万世居)
Metro: Line 16 to Pinghuan Station (坪环站), Exit A1
Taking a stroll along the coastal promenade in Yantian is a pleasant experience as the weather gets warm. Don’t forget to take a glance at the seaside pagoda which is bathed in colorful lights at night. The modern pagoda inside a community park near Zhongying Street was built in the Song-Dynasty (960-1279) style.
The pagoda at a community park by the sea in Yantian is illuminated. Photo from WeChat account “ytrmwx”
Time: 7-10 p.m., Feb. 3-5
Venues: Pagoda Community Park or the coastal promenade, Yantian District (古塔社区公园或海滨栈道)
Metro: Line 8 to Shatoujiao (沙头角站) or Haishan Station (海山站) and then walk to the seaside
New Who Art Village
Longhua is famous for its charming old Hakka villages, some of which have been turned art villages for artists from around the world to open studios or do art-residency projects. On Saturday, locals can play the pitch-pot game, archery and shuttlecock, while solving riddles, eating glutinous rice balls and sugar paintings, and enjoy classical music and Kunqu opera at a fair at New Who Art Village.
Pitch-pot game and solving riddles activities at New Who Art Village. Photos from WeChat account “DL_FashionTown”
Time: 3-6 p.m., Feb. 4
Venue: New Who Art Village, Longhua District (鳌湖艺术村)
Metro: Line 4 to Niuhu Station (牛湖站), Exit B
Guanhu and Guanlan
Several intangible cultural heritage performances, such as lion dances, dragon dances, Yingge Dance and Fish Lantern Dance, will be staged at Guanhu Century Square and Guanlan Old Market on Sunday. Mouthwatering sweet snacks such as glutinous rice balls, sugar paintings and tanghulu (sugar-coated fruits on a skewer), as well as handicraft demonstrations, will let you feel the festive joy.
A cultural heritage performance at Guanhu Century Square. Photo from WeChat account “Longhua-Shenzhen”
Date: Feb. 5
Venues: Guanhu Century Square and Guanlan Old Market, Longhua District (观湖世纪广场和观澜古墟)
Metro: Line 4 to Xikeng Station (茜坑站) to Guanhu Century Square, Guanlan Station (观澜站) to Guanlan Old Market
Bantian Handmade Cultural Street
Foodies can have a bite of Hakka delicacies and join vendors to make aiban, a Hakka snack made with glutinous rice flour and mugwort, at Bantian Handmade Cultural Street. Apart from enjoying traditional Chinese performances and handicraft demonstrations, magic shows, live gigs and lucky draws will also provide visitors with a joyful Lantern Festival experience.
Bantian Handmade Cultural Street. Photo from WeChat account “longgangfabu”
Time: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Feb. 4-5
Venue: Bantian Handmade Cultural Street, Longgang District (坂田手造文化街)
Metro: Line 10 to Guangyayuan Station (光雅园站), Exit A1
Nantou Ancient Town
Nantou Ancient Town is always a popular spot for locals and tourists thanks to its old architecture and chic lifestyle stores. When the town is decorated with lanterns and showcasing intangible cultural heritage performances and handicraft demonstrations, it will be an ideal place for you to discover surprises and enjoy the festival.
Nantou Ancient Town has been decorated with red lanterns. Photo from WeChat account “Nantoucity2020”
Dates: Feb. 3-5
Venue: Nantou Ancient Town, Nanshan District (南头古城)
Metro: Line 12 to Nantou Ancient City Station (南头古城站), Exit D
Covering 20,000 square meters, the 2023 Greater Bay Area Super Light Show (88 yuan) running through Feb. 26 makes you feel you are traveling back to the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties as you immerse yourself in countless lanterns. Other giant lanterns were created by artisans from Zigong, Sichuan Province. Be it a 5-meter-tall dragon, or a magnificent Flying Asparas, the lights are stunning and dreamy.
A scene at the 2023 Greater Bay Area Super Light Show. Photos from the organizer
Venue: OCT Harbor, Nanshan District (欢乐海岸)
Metro: Line 9 to Shenzhen Bay Park Station (深圳湾公园站), Exit E
The annual Zigong lantern show (69.9 yuan) running through Feb. 5 features traditional festive lights, as well as giant lanterns inspired by Chinese mythological legends and dinosaurs. Parades and live music shows will also be held.
Scenes at the Splendid China • China Folk Culture Villages lantern show. Photos from the organizer
Venue: Splendid China • China Folk Culture Villages, Nanshan District (锦绣中华民俗村)
Metro: Line 1 to OCT Station (华侨城站), Exit D