On the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, the Lantern Festival is held for deceased ancestors on the first moonlit night. This day ends the Chinese New Year. The festival aims to honor those that have passed on by releasing a lantern into the sky. This festival is called the Yuan Xiao festival in China.
This festival dates back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD). Emperor Hanming sent out orders to light lanterns in the palace and temples to pay his respect to Buddha. Buddhism was thriving in China during this time.
On the night of the festival, there are many activities taking place. The streets are covered with colorful lanterns with riddles written on them. There are traditional dragon and lion dances that take place. People are dined with sweet rice-ball treats called tangyuan, and fireworks are set off.
Lantern festivals have spread around the world, even hitting the United States. I believe that this festival would something nice to experience one day.