The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival.
According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out.
During the Lantern Festival, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball).
In the Sui Dynasty in the sixth century, Emperor Yangdi invited envoys from other countries to China to see the colorful lighted lanterns and enjoy the gala performances.
By the beginning of the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century, the lantern displays would last three days. The emperor also lifted the curfew, allowing the people to enjoy the festive lanterns day and night.
In the Song Dynasty, the festival was celebrated for five days and the activities began to spread to many of the big cities in China.
Today, the displaying of lanterns is still a big event on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout China.
The fillings inside the dumplings or Yuansiao are either sweet or salty. Sweet fillings are made of sugar, Walnuts, sesame, osmanthus flowers, rose petals, or jujube paste etc. A single ingredient or any combination can be used as the filling . The salty variety is filled with minced meat, vegetables etc.