The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival
Musings of a Dayton + Cincinnati Doula
Studies show that a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations. And besides the obvious reasons of growing up with strong family bonds and memories, children can also learn multiple lessons from grandparents about emotional and social intelligence. Although most of our family is in California (whom we miss so much!), we are really lucky to have one set of grandparents here and a set of great-grandparents that visit.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, we headed to the Natural Resources Park in Columbus to see the Ohio Lantern Festival with the children's grandparents and great-grandparents. The festival includes almost 40 sets of larger-than-life lantern displays, performances, and handicrafts celebrating Chinese arts and culture.
We watched "Bian Lian" (mask changing), where the performer changed from one face to another almost instantaneously with the swipe of a fan, a movement of the head, or wave of the hand and is a secret tradition passed down within families. We walked under oceans of lantern fish, and through arches of Chinese Zodiac signs. And at each display, we learned about the sacred and spiritual backgrounds of the symbol or scene.
It was pretty busy, so I was focused on not losing the kids in the crowd. But did manage to capture some images. These definitely don't do the experience justice. I'm so grateful that we were able to learn new things about the Chinese culture alongside multiple generations of our own family.