Chinese Lanterns hang over Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur 20 Feb 2017
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Red lanterns hang over the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Chinese New Year celebrations. Now synonymous with Chinatowns worldwide, the red Chinese lantern originally had a practical use: it was the first stage of progression from naked flame lamps. They created lower lighting and prevented the flame being extinguished by blowing winds.
Classically oval in shape and coloured red with gold or red tassels, these lanterns have become the subject of artistic expression; designers create more decorative displays every year for the Chinese Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the first lunar month.
Chinese New Year is calculated by the lunar calendar, falling on the first new moon between 21st January and 20th February with celebrations lasting 16 days. People gather to celebrate in Chinese temples and Chinatowns around the world. Visit Kuala Lumpur on Insight Guides’ Hidden UNESCO Sites of Malaysia trip.