Lantern Festival

This past week we once again celebrated another festival. This time it was Lantern Festival. Lantern Festival marks the end of the Spring Festival celebration, and just like Spring Festival, the Chinese celebrate lantern festivals with fireworks. So once again I was woken up at 6 am by fireworks. Gotta love this country.

To honor Lantern Festival there was a big celebration in People’s Park. There must have been more than a thousand people there. There were performances and different venders and stalls set up around the square to accommodate the crowds.


During Lantern Festival, as I’m sure you have guessed, there are a ton of lanterns. They are all over the city, hanging from anywhere and from everywhere. People have these lanterns (which are like mini hot air balloons) and send them into the sky. There is a myth that there is a monster that comes down during the lantern festival and the only way to repel the monster is to send up these lantern hot air balloons. It’s actually very cool; when you look up into the night’s sky you see little specks of light all over the place.


It just so happened that Lantern Festival fell around the same time as Valentines Day. My friend Matt set up a date dinner with this girl he had never met (weird story: she got his number from a friend of hers and called him out of the blue). She was going to bring some friends, so Matt needed some wingmen and asked Sam and I if we could help.

Being the stand up guy that I am and Sam being the horny guy that he is, we both said we would do it. So we arrived at the restaurant and as we got there Matt told me that they didn’t speak a word of English. Oh great!!! My Chinese is pretty much shit. Matt’s and Sam’s Chinese is better than mine but not at the level where they can have a legit conversation. We were in for an adventure.

When we got there, the girls were already there. From the look of them, we thought that they kind of looked like prostitutes (or as my British friends like to call them, prozzies). One had a skin-tight leopard print spandex outfit and another wore this bright red fur jacket/top. I started laughing it was so funny.

The night turned out to be as awkward as expected. I sat there, chiming in with the few Chinese words I knew. Alcohol made the situation a little better and by the end we were actually hitting it off with them. As we finished dinner we expected that we’d go out and do something else but the girls said goodnight and left. Story of my life, not being able to close.

Oh well, you live and you learn. Better luck next time.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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