until 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(节日的，庆祝的)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(宵禁令), allowing the people to enjoy the festive lanterns day and night. it is not difficult to find chinese poems which describe this happy scene.
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. colorful glass and even jade were used to make lanterns, with figures from folk tales painted on the lanterns.
however, the largest lantern festival celebration took place in the early part of the 15th century. the festivities continued for ten days. emperor chengzu had the downtown area set aside as a center for displaying the lanterns. even today, there is a place in beijing called dengshikou. in chinese, deng means lantern and shi is market. the area became a market where lanterns were sold during the day. in the evening, the local people would go there to see the beautiful lighted lanterns on display.
today, the displaying of lanterns is still a big event on the 15th day of the first lunar month throughout china. people enjoy the brightly lit night. chengdu in southwest china's sichuan province, for example, holds a lantern fair each year in the cultural park. during the lantern festival, the park is literally an ocean of lanterns! many new designs attract countless visitors. the most eye-catching lantern is the dragon pole. this is a lantern in the shape of a golden dragon, spiraling up a 27-meter -high pole, spewing fireworks from its mouth. it is quite an impressive sight!