Dazzling lantern shows with magnificent firework displays have lit up the night sky of various parts of the country, bringing people New Year blessings and adding a strong festive atmosphere.

Local residents and tourists in Dunhuang City of Northwest China’s Gansu Province on Friday flocked to the streets to enjoy the annual lantern festival and Shehuo performances (community fire festive entertainment).

Over 50 sets of coloured lanterns have been handed up, enabling people to fully experience the distinctive Silk Road characteristics and Dunhuang cultural charm.

Dunhuang City was once an important city on the Silk Road

Since ancient times, the city has a traditional custom of holding a grand lantern festival in the Spring Festival.

This year’s Lantern Festival in the City shows the important role of Dunhuang Culture in the construction of the “Belt & Road” by displaying landmarks of cities along the Belt & Road including Loulan, Ruoqiang, Islamabad, Samarkand, Mashad, Damascus and Greece.

It is also themed with folk themes, Buddhist scriptures, music and dance as well as costumes, highlighting the promotion of the Dunhuang culture.

“I think this year’s Lantern Festival is particularly good. The festive atmosphere here is very strong. We seldom see a lantern festival with such a theme in other places,” said Zheng Xiaotian, a tourist.

“I think that the lights here can better convey some of the local cultures in Dunhuang, so we can understand some of the cultural backgrounds,” said Duan Xiaohui, another tourist.

The third Huaqing Pool Lantern Festival kicked off at Huaqing Pool scenic spot in Lintong District in Xi’an, the capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, on Saturday night, reproducing the scene of the golden age of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

This reproduction presented three-dimensional lanterns depicting the scenery of mountains and water by using light and shadow shows.

During a 15-minute performance, many sets of lights in the mountains danced with unmanned aerial vehicles in the sky, providing a wonderful aerial light show with keywords such as starry sky exploration, romance, Tang Palace night banquet, and Chinese New Year carnivals.

“We have been longing to visit Xi’an City for it’s a historical city. Now it is my child’s winter holiday, so I brought him to the city to widen his vision and increase his knowledge. This lantern festival has a strong historical background with fine products, which can make you feel like travelling back to the prosperous Tang Dynasty,” said Qian, a tourist from east China’s Zhejiang Province.

The 23-day lantern festival will run through February 9. At a park of Wan’an County in east China’s Jiangxi Province, a total of 36 million colourful lanterns were lit by the flashes of magnificent fireworks displays among a sea of flowers to welcome the Spring Festival.

“As the Chinese New Year is coming, we have decorated the sea of flowers of over 1,000 mu (about 66.7 hectares) here as a sea of lights, so that tourists can watch the flowers during the day and appreciate the lights at night, adding a new year atmosphere,” said Feng Letian, marketing manager of the park.

It is the first time for the park to hold the lantern festival, and the park received its first batch of tourists since the opening of Nanchang-Ganzhou High-speed Railway on December 26 of 2019, according to the person in charge of the Park.