Lotus Seeds and Lantern Festival

The Informant told me, after a few examples of what I meant by folklore, about a Lantern Festival that she remembered going to in her youth when she lived in China. She remembered in her words:

We used to have lantern festivals in china, and I’d go to my cousin’s grandma’s place (I wasn’t related to her) and she’d have a tricycle with a huge trunk area, and we’d lie in the back eating lotus seeds while she bikes down a street that had all sorts of lanterns hung up. So we stared up at the lanterns. [Pause] …

That was every summer, I think you could get a lotus pod from anywhere on the market in china, and I think the lantern thing itself took place at a market it was celebrated on the 15th of the first month in the lunar calendar for Chinese new year the first 15 days were all about celebration each year.

Distinctly, she remembered the importance of the lotus seeds, a treat that one could find all over the market, but mostly during the summer. She remembers that the lotus seeds must have been important to the festival as it occurred during February rather than in the summer, as usual. The lotus seeds were served plain.

She could not remember much more of the festival, but she had fond memories of eating the lotus seeds with her cousin, and observing the lanterns from afar.

It is interesting to me that both these stories show how family oriented these festivals are, without offering much detail about the actual festival. What shows their familial nature is her memory of family, specifically.