The Zigong Lantern Festival is a large-scale folk cultural activity held from the Spring Festival to the Lantern Festival in Zigong City, Sichuan Province. The main forms of expression are lights, fireworks, decoration, and light and shadow. The content is mainly based on Chinese traditional culture and local customs in Sichuan. Some fashionable and modern elements will be added to show the rich and colorful folk life.
The Zigong Lantern Festival began in the Tang Dynasty and flourished in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Since modern times, the 18th Zigong Lantern Festival has been held in Zigong, and the venues are all in the Zigong Lantern Park. Since Zigong has unearthed a large number of fossils of paleontological dinosaurs, it is known as the “Hometown of Dinosaurs in China”. Therefore, Zigong Lantern Festivals have been named “Zigong International Dinosaur Lantern Festival” in recent years.
The Zigong Lantern Festival is one of the most complete and large-scale traditional lantern viewing folk activities in China. It is well-known in Southeast Asia. The annual lantern festival starts on the first month of the lunar calendar and attracts tourists from all over the world to watch. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Canada, Singapore, and Malaysia have repeatedly invited lantern artists from Zigong to make lantern sets, which have been unanimously recognized by the local people. Today’s Zigong Lantern Festival has an annual output value of approximately RMB 1.5 billion, which drives 70,000 people to find employment. The Zigong Lantern Festival has formed a unique cultural industry in Zigong. Lantern Festival exhibitions have been held in Beijing Chaoyang Park and other places, and the Lantern Festival organizers have also exhibited in the New Year in Southeast Asia for many years.
Since the Tang Dynasty, Zigong has had the custom of lighting lanterns in the New Year. It was extended to the Qing Dynasty and there were “Lion Lantern Market” and “Denggan Festival”. Activities such as dragon dance lanterns, lion theatre lanterns, and lanterns. Zigong Lantern Festival According to historical records, during the Tang and Song Dynasties, the Zigong area has gradually formed the custom of lighting lanterns during the New Year and the lantern festival before and after the Lantern Festival. In Zigong during the Tang and Song Dynasties, during the New Year and Lantern Festival, when lanterns were lighted and lit, folk acrobatics and acrobatics also appeared during the period, which was deeply loved by the people who watched lanterns. In the second year of Chunxi in the Southern Song Dynasty (1175), the famous patriotic poet Lu You once wrote in the phrase “Qinyuanchun” written by him: “Farewell to the Qin Tower, in the blink of an eye the New Year, and the lights are near.” This shows the Zigong area at that time. The lighting of lanterns in the New Year has become a customary folklore activity. Of course, there is still a difference between this and the Lantern Festival formed by birth. Therefore, the Tang and Song Dynasties should be the embryonic or initial stage of the Zigong Lantern Festival.