POST Houston Lantern Festival Night Market: An event to experience!


Diana Navarro

Majestic Lion Dance performing in celebration of the Lantern Festival (@majesticliondance)

Diana Navarro, Student Writer

Houston, TX- At the end of the Lunar year celebrations, on the first full moon of the new lunar year, you can head to POST Houston for a weekend family celebration full of lights and entertainment! For the second year in a row, POST has brought to town the opportunity to celebrate the Lantern Festival from February 4th at 10 A.M till February 5th at 10 P.M.

The Lantern Festival is considered the Grand Finale of the lunar new year celebrations. The event is on the first full moon, which says goodbye to winter and welcomes the spring season through lights as a symbol of hope. The event also includes a night market which is quite famous for various street food, live music, and a way to experience the shops with lights.

With that in mind, the celebration here in town consisted of a two-day event full of markets, food, and performers. The event is free and open to the public with add-ons through payment. The live performances for this year included Asian Calligraphy, Maid Cafe performances, Lion dances, and live music performances.

Aiko, the owner of Zen Art Calligraphy, posing next to her diverse art options of Kanji. (Diana Navarro)

One of the performances of the festival was by Japanese Calligraphy artist Aiko. Aiko specializes in Kanji, which is Japanese writing based on Chinese characters. I was lucky enough to interview Aiko, and she explained that Kanji is “translating sound into meaningful characters. It can be the form of a name, for example, the name Robert, which in Kanji would be Robato, and it will divide into Ro (Longevity) ba (wave) to (abundance)”. Aiko enjoys bringing happiness to people through Kanji and has her shop online: @ZenArtCalligraphy, both on Instagram and Esty.

Following the live performances were the maid cafe performances by The Megami maids. This group is a Texas-based maid cafe that aims to provide an authentic Maid Cafe experience through pop-ups and performances. This phenomenon is from the popularization of cosplay restaurants found predominantly in Japan. The maids will ensure that the customer has a good experience by treating the customer as one of a kind or “masters and mistresses” rather than just a regular cafe servers. To be part of the cafe experience, a $50 pass that includes:

Premier maid Yaya (Left) and Head maid founder Yuichan (right) performing J-Pop (Diana Navarro)
  • Served limited menu items
  • Maid interactions
  • Themed photos with the maids
  • Dance performances
  • Goodie bag

For fans of these cosplaying restaurants, the experience was well-received by people who attended the festival over the weekend. The maids have many monthly events around the Houston Area with updates on their Instagram @Megami_maids.

The icing on the cake was the beautiful lion dance performances throughout the festival. The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance mimicking lion movements that brings good fortune for the upcoming year. The dance is usually formed by two dancers, one controlling the head and the other handling the rear end of the lion. While the dancers perform, they’re accompanied by drums, gongs, and clashing cymbals. Something that caught my eye was how interactive the lions are with the public, from throwing fruit and vegetables to receiving red envelopes from people that are supposed to bring good luck including being a donation for the performing group. The lion dances across the festival and market brought the public their martial arts skills while being experienced across the building. A true delight to experience.

Hung Voung Lion Dance Team on the closing lion dance (Diana Navarro)

Once the sun started to set, it was the lantern’s turn to take the spotlight. The lanterns varied from designed and organized from traditional symbols to anime characters like Doraemon that lightened the night market. The night market was full of vendors ranging from vendors-wise, they had crochet products, jewelry, healing stones, to even moss for those who felt their plant parenting calling. For the food fans, many food vendors came from Japanese pancakes, Thai, funnel cakes, Teas, and all sorts of BBQ.

The POST Houston Lantern Festival Night Market is an experience for all ages to enjoy a cultural celebration from all angles full of entertainment, live music, and all sorts of expenses for lifetime memories.