China's lantern makers are gearing up for the new year Workers assemble lanterns at Luyang Industrial Park in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, Jan. 26, 2016. (Du Yu/Xinhua Press/Corbis/Song Jie/Xinhua Press/Corbis)
China's lantern makers are gearing up for the new year
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Nothing says Chinese New Year like a bright red lantern that bobs and shines its good luck message. For many, these iconic lanterns are synonymous with China. Each year, China's over-the-top annual lantern festival brings more awareness to the traditional form of lighting.
 
Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 28 this year. The lantern festival will take place on Feb. 11. For China's lantern makers, it's right around the corner.
 
The Agence France-Presse writes that lantern makers in China's self-proclaimed "lantern capital," the village of Tuntou, in Hebei province, are working overtime to make thousands of handmade lanterns in time for the holiday season. Tuntou has a long history of lantern making. China Central Television reports that the village has produced lanterns since the 18th century. Artisans spend a lifetime working on their craft and then pass along their skills to their relatives.
 
Tuntou has cornered an estimated 70 percent of the domestic market, CCTV writes. China's annual lantern output is staggering. It is estimated to be in the tens of millions. They are built in both large and small factories. The push isn't just for Chinese New Year. The lanterns are used for other celebrations, too. But Chinese New Year is the granddaddy of all lantern holidays.
 
The color red symbolizes good luck in Chinese culture. And many lanterns are painted with phrases in Chinese. Tuntou's Communist leader tells the AFP that most lanterns are now decorated with "socialist core values" slogans that reflect country leader Xi Jinping's priorities of prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship. But on China's Weibo microblogs, 90 percent of online comments about the slogans are negative, reports the Asahi Shimbun.
 
Whether you see them as political statements or just pretty objects, one thing is for sure. It is that China's lantern industry isn't slowing down any time soon.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are 90 percent of online comments about the slogans negative?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (5)
  • dmatthew-dav
    1/19/2017 - 07:26 p.m.

    In response to "China's lantern makers are gearing up for the new year" I agree that that the proseeces is not slowing down. One reason I say this is that Chinese new year always happens and its not going away. Another reason I say this is that Tuntou is the latern making city if a city disapers they can still make lanterns because all cities make laterns but not as much as nTuntou. It says in the article (more details). A third reason is that all of the cities in China are big latern makers. Even though it might be gone for awile, I think it will come back or never be gone.

  • vmargaret-dav
    1/23/2017 - 04:55 p.m.

    In response to "China's lantern makers are gearing up for the new year," I agree that China's lantern makers have a lot of preparation to do for Chinese New Year. One reason I agree is that a lot of lanterns are put up on Chinese New Year, so the lantern makers has to make a lot of lanterns. Another reason is that they have to prepare by buying the tools needed to make the lanterns. It says in the article, "Each year, China's over-the-top annual lantern festival brings more awareness to the traditional form of lighting."China's annual lantern output is staggering. It is estimated to be in the tens of millions. They are built in both large and small factories." A third reason is that the lanterns have to be made quickly, so the lantern makers need to make lanterns either in advance or really quick. Even though lanterns can probably be made easily in factories, I think that lantern makers need to prepare in advance.

  • bennetts-bla
    1/27/2017 - 12:07 p.m.

    In this passage it is all about the Chinese lanterns almost 70 percent of the market in china sells lanterns. I learned that the color red in china means good luck. The lanterns are also used for other holidays in china so they are eventually needed again. I really like the color red and it feels good to hear that it is a lucky color. I really like the fact that this event is still going on.

  • kayau-bla
    1/27/2017 - 12:11 p.m.

    I think that the comment are negative because they might offend some people. The article is really about these people. This article brings up good things and bad which is a good to at times like these.

  • dannyp-mac
    2/10/2017 - 11:58 a.m.

    I feel like people in those countries are like another world, everything is so different, culture, beliefs, year, I think Chinese people are in the year 100 something.

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