example of a banyan tree

WISHING TREES

许愿树

It is Chinese tradition tradition to tie your wish to a wishing tree in the hope that it will come true!

The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees; two banyan trees in Hong Kong, are a popular destination where people would go to write their most important wish on a piece of paper and tie it to an orange. They would then throw the orange into one of the banyan trees, and it is believed that if the paper  was caught up in the branches, that the wish would come true!

In 2005 however, this practise was stopped when one of the branches fell and injured two visitors. So nowadays, people write their wishes and place them on wooden racks near to the trees, (at least until the trees recover sufficiently).

Chinese New Year is a traditional time for people to write their wishes.

It is a Chinese tradition to tie a written wish to a wishing tree for it to come true. We have our own wishing tree at Lu Ban and invite you to add your wish to our tree when you dine with us.

**WISHING TREE MONTHLY PRIZE GIVEAWAY**

To celebrate the Lantern Festival which is the final celebration of Chinese New Year – and falls on the 15th day of the new year (8th February 2020), we will randomly select a wish from the tree, and the lucky winner will win an £88 voucher towards their next Lu Ban dining experience!

Then at the end of every month, one of the month’s wishes will be chosen and the lucky person will win a prize of £88 towards their next Lu Ban dining experience,

Wishing Tree Chinese New Year at Lu Ban Restaurant

THE END OF CHINESE NEW YEAR – THE LANTERN FESTIVAL

There are many stories to explain ancient traditions and customs of Chinese festivals, which lead to further stories and explanations, so we are sharing shortened information about the history of the Lantern Festival. You can find a lot of information online, and a very helpful website which is a good guide to Chinese New Year celebrations: www.chinesenewyear.net.

It is useful to remember that China is around 39 times the size of the UK, so stories, customs, food and traditions vary according to the region.

THE LANTERN FESTIVAL 

The 15th day of the lunar new year signifies the end of the new year celebrations with the Lantern Festival. It is the time when people go out to celebrate – the Lantern Festival symbolises freedom and socialising, and families will often reunite again to mark the end of Chinese New Year.

Many, many years ago, women would not usually go out, except for during the Lantern Festival where they could be free to walk around, play games, meet people and socialise – it is for this reason that many Chinese believe that the Lantern Festival is the true Chinese Valentine’s Day.

During China’s history, the 15th day of the lunar year has been a celebration of religious worship, peace (following a period of unrest in China after the Han Dynasty), with households lighting candles and lanterns, and monks would light candles for Buddha.

The Emporer at that time was a devout Buddhist so ordered the palace and temples to light candles and for citizens to hang lanterns.

People would gather and give offerings to the gods and the lanterns would represent the gods. There are many styles of lanterns, from tiny hand held creations to enormous parade style floats.

FOOD

Traditional food of the Lantern Festival is “yuan xiao” a Chinese dessert. It is a dumpling of glutinous rice and sweet fillings including red bean paste, syrup, and other sweet items. It can be steamed, fried or boiled.

FAMILY

Just like the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, the Lantern Festival is another family gathering to celebrate again, enjoying the festivities of the events that mark the end of Chinese New Year.

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