As part of our quest to pay homage to Light – the central force in all photography – in 2015 we photographed the Chinese Festival of Light, or the Lantern Festival. The Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the lunar calendar marking the last day of the lunar new year celebrations. It is usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25) it had become a festival with great significance. During the Festival of Light children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns. In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones, but in modern times lanterns have become huge and embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in the shape of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting new ones, which they will let go of the next year. The lanterns are often red to symbolize good fortune. In Hong Kong the Festival has become a kind of "Valentine's Day." 21 Chinese Artisans worked for over 6,500 hours on the display of 532 lanterns which used 30,000 metres of silk and 20,000 light globes.
© Gigi & Robin Williams Photography