Amazing Kids! Magazine

Chinese Spring Lantern Festival

By Nicole Chan, 15, Hong Kong


As I slip on my jade green qipao1,
I peek at myself in the reflection in the gold bagua2 mirror;
Dazzling sequins on Chinese silk reflect the light in the room.
Mama3 comes in to wish me luck tonight—
Tonight, the spring Lantern Festival, the night to find a sweetheart.

Clutching my ruby lantern, I stroll down the street lit by the full moon,
A red-marked tangerine in my right hand.
I hear a calm and soothing flute melody ringing in the background;
As I approach the pier, I throw my tangerine into the sea,
Continuing the tradition of finding a future husband.

Floating with the current along the pier,
My fate flows down joining the bobbing tangerines, too.
Clusters of multicolored girls in glowing silk stand on the harbor waiting;
Shyly, I nervously skip down along the pier following my destiny.

On the other side, I see a slender, young man wearing the grey changshan4 of a scholar.
He scoops up a tangerine with grace.
The lilting sound of the flute makes me tremble with excitement;
As he holds up the fruit, I gasp and see my red mark.
I excitedly glide toward him and look up into his dark, almond eyes;
This is what my heart was waiting for.

1. A Chinese, traditional, one-piece dress for women
2. A round mirror surrounded by an octagonal frame with the Bagua design
3. Mom
4. A Chinese, traditional dress for men