Lantern Festival celebrates Chinese culture

Lanterns hang at Chinatown Main Street Lantern Festival on Oct. 21 at Chinatown Park. (image courtesy of Valerie Li.)

A girl waits to demonstrate kicks onstage. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li)

Chinatown Main Street (CMS) kicked off its fourth annual Lantern Festival on Oct. 21 at Chinatown Park, after heavy rain postponed the event last month.

The one-day festival attracted thousands of event-goers. Hosted by CMS in partnership with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, the festival aims to bring the community together and to promote tourism in one of Boston’s most historic neighborhoods.

“This year’s Lantern Festival has been a little bit late because of pouring rain on Sept. 30 so we decided to reschedule it to today. It turns out to be a beautiful day today and hopefully it will bring more people together,” said Rick Wong, CMS board president.

The lantern festival celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese harvest holiday. Countless colorful lanterns were put up around the Chinatown Gate.

“Sometime in November we have to take those lanterns down for the winter, so we really wish to celebrate before they get to be taken down,” Wong said.

Wong added a lion dance competition will take place on Nov. 11 at Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus.

The celebration also featured martial arts performances, lion dance and other activities. One martial arts group, Best Taekwondo, came from Quincy to showcase its youth talent.

“The kids are here to demonstrate different forms and kicks of tae kwon do. It means a lot for the kids to have exposure in Boston Chinatown, because they do their performances all the time in Quincy,” said Kathleen Chung, demonstration team coordinator for Best Taekwondo.

The organizers expected thousands of visitors to the festival. (Image courtesy of Valerie Li.)

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