When people visit the Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival at the PNE, they come expecting to see the beauty of 1,300 individual lit silk structures.
But there’s a lot more to learn about! In addition to the cultural performances, food and beverage options, Westcoast (Ferris) Wheel rides, and market pavilion, the educational experience might be the biggest surprise. Throughout the night, storytellers give tours of five lanterns that have traditional lessons about Chinese history and culture. Below is an introduction to these special displays.
Apricot Altar Lecture
At the Confucian Temple, inside the main doors at the large courtyard, stands one tall and straight Chinese Juniper Tree. Tradition has it, that this tree was planted by Confucius himself. In front of the altar where Confucius gave lectures, are the four apricot trees that his students sat around.
Story of Kong Rong
This Chinese story has taught morals for thousands of years. The story derives from the last years of the East Han dynasty, dating to 200 AD. It is a true story of a younger brother named Kong Rong who always picked smaller pears, while allowing his older brother to take the bigger ones. This story has taught millions of Chinese the virtues of courtesy and modesty.
Wang Xiang Lying on Ice
The story of lying on ice seeking carp fish is an ancient Han Chinese folktale. It originated from the historical writer Gan Bao in his famous book Sou Shen Ji,a book about spirits and immortals. The story tells about Wang Xiang who used to lie on ice to catch carp fish for his step-mother in the winter.
Three Character Classic
Three Character Classic is a precious legacy of ancient Chinese culture. This work is written in short and simple texts arranged in three-character verses for easy pronunciation and memorization. Three Character Classic held onto its popularity for centuries as reading material for young children. Its content covers history, astronomy, geography, mortality, and some folklore. It is said that anyone who knows Three Character Classic well, knows things from all over the world.
The Sage of Calligraphy
Wang Xizhi was the Eastern Jin Dynasty’s greatest calligrapher and his artistic abilities were of the highest skill. Wand Xizhi’s had seven sons. He demanded a strict standard of living of his sons, expecting them to live a hardworking life without extravagance and waste.