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Hung Lanterns, Grapefruit Lanterns at Mid-Autumn Festival

In the Guangfu region, the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated with a wide variety of games and events. Historically, about two weeks before the Mid-Autumn Festival, in Guangzhou and other towns in the Pearl River Delta Region, all households would make lanterns with bamboo splits, and the lanterns were typically shaped like a fish, dragon, bird, beast, flower or fruit. The lanterns were covered with colorful paper bearing various images.

At dusk on the festival, people would light up the candles inside the lanterns and then hang the lanterns on the top of bamboo sticks, which were leant against the eaves or planted on the balconies. Some people would arrange a large number of small lanterns in various patterns, such as Chinese characters, and then place them at heights. At nightfall, the entire town sparked like a fascinating glass world. Well-to-do families each usually displayed hundreds of lanterns which were arranged to in a pattern that resembled the Chinese characters for "celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival". The lanterns were hung more than ten meters above the ground, and the entire family gathered on the balcony, drinking and chatting. Less affluent households normally erect a flagpole on top of which two lanterns would be hung.

Historically, in Guangzhou and Dongguan, at the Mid-Autumn Festival, children would hollow out grapefruits, carve their skins, and place small lanterns inside the fruits. Then, they would carry the grapefruit lanterns for a parade down the street. Grapefruit lanterns were later replaced by paper lanterns shaped like animals and other fruits and melons, and the lamps placed inside were usually given by their maternal grandmothers or uncles.

On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, as the full moon shone in the sky, the children would parade their colorful paper lanterns in the streets while singing songs. The lyrics of the songs were mostly about success in imperial examinations and filial piety. After the hearty parade, the children would return home to be reunited with their families.

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