News & Stories



Many of us are familiar with the Chinese red lanterns, whether through photos, movies, or seeing it with our own eyes.  But, have you ever wondered why they are there?  Is it just for aesthetics’ sake?   We can be captivated by the beauty of these lanterns, especially as they light up the night sky, but the fact is, there is another purpose for these lanterns.  These lanterns are strewn throughout the village or neighborhood in order to point the way to the area temple where there will be a giant worship festival in honor of the god who is responsible for protecting that village or neighborhood.  It’s an incredibly loud and raucous event complete with loud music, spirit mediums cutting themselves with large, sharp weapons, firecrackers, etc.   The festival can last for the whole weekend.   In rural villages, just about everybody participates in these festivals one way or another, whether it be involvement in the procession as they walk the god through the village to inspect it, or waiting for the god to pass one’s house, so they can make offerings of drink, food, and spirit money to appease the god and ask for blessing. 

Also, a ‘party’ atmosphere is created, with food and game stalls set up.  Family members come visit, and big family lunches or dinners are prepared.  When the god procession is finished in the evening, a big communal meal is prepared in front of the temple as well as a big stage, complete with karaoke and young female strippers.

For those who are Christians, it is difficult to watch friends and neighbors participate in these activities.  Watching the kids and youth be involved is especially heartbreaking.

Additionally, the spiritual activity is palpable.  All one’s senses are engaged with these activities that turn people away from God’s glory and give it to other spirits–the smell of incense, the sound of gongs and horns, the sight of bloodletting, the taste of sulfur from the firecrackers.  It can be overwhelming.

Pray for Christians in the villages to be strengthened by the Lord to be present, mentally and spiritually, and to seize hold of any opportunities to share about the God who is greater than all others and is truly worthy of all worship and praise.

Share this post

Get Involved

Have Questions? Send us an email.

To help you serve better, kindly fill all the fields (required). Your query will be routed to the relevant OMF team.

Contact Form

By clicking Submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with the terms in our Privacy Policy.

You’re on the OMF International website.
We have a network of centres across the world.
If your country/region is not listed, please select our International website.