What began in ancient times has since evolved into a major Chinese festival that rivals New Year's Day for pomp and public participation. Revelers across the country wander the streets carrying elaborately decorated lanterns as a means of warding off evil spirits. Lantern decorating competitions are a common occurrence. The day also gives license for people to challenge each other with riddles and fill their bellies with glutinous rice dumplings. Bear in mind that hotel rooms are difficult to find during this time.
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