Huai’an has a lot of customs of the Lantern Festival, such as seeing colored lanterns, eating sweet dumplings, and eating reunion dinner. The sweet dumpling, called “Yuanzi” and “Tangyuan” by local people, contains brown sugar, sesame and sweet osmanthus, symbolizing happiness and sweetness of future life.
The lantern fair in the festival is very bustling, which reflect the charm of Huai’an as a famous old historical and cultural city and watery region. The fair in Huai’an city started in Han dynasty and became prosperous in the middle period of Tang dynasty, and more popular in Song dynasty.
On Jan. 13th of the lunar calendar, each family of Huai’an began to hang various lanterns and set off firecrackers, and in the evening of the 15th, grand lantern show, dragon dance and lion dance began. The lantern fair lasted until the 3rd day after the Lantern Festival, and in the evening of this day, people enjoyed playing and being boisterous.