This festival originated with Chinese residents of Nagasaki (on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu) to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and first took place in Nagasaki’s Shinchi Chinatown neighborhood. By 1994 it grew to become the “Nagasaki Lantern Festival” and became a major winter tradition, held every year from January 1st of the Lunar Calendar (Chinese New Year) to January 15th, and lasting 15 days. Similar to the Lantern Festival in China, Nagasaki’s Shinchi, Hama-ichi, and Kankodori neighborhoods becomes colorfully decorated with over 15,000 Chinese lanterns.

Brilliant red paper lanterns shaped like people and objects
Several large paper lanterns on display tables

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