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Culture Insider: 7 things you may not know about Lantern Festival | Updated: 2015-03-05 07:30

Culture Insider: 7 things you may not know about Lantern Festival

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Seven-day Holiday in the Song Dynasty

While modern people complain that they have to work on this day, they would be surprised to know that people living in the Song Dynasty had the privilege of taking seven days off. According to the Wen Chang Za Lu, an ancient documentary book, people boasted 76 days of holiday time throughout the whole year. More importantly, in celebration of five vital festivals, people could enjoy several seven-day holidays: the Spring Festival, the day before the Pure Bright Festival, the Winter Solstice, the birthday of the emperor and the Lantern Festival. However, these rules only applied to all the administrative institutes, with many institutions of higher learning have much shorter holidays. It was recorded that Zhao Mingcheng, husband of Li Qingzhao, the leading female poet of the time, had only taken one day off when pursuing his studies. Each year he would come back home at the Lantern Festival to accompany his wife in celebration of the festival.


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